New lightning sensor on GOES-16

GOES-16 lightning map

Above:  This map from GOES-16 shows lightning in clouds associated with the weather system that produced severe thunderstorms and a few tornadoes in East Texas on February 14, 2017. The system can monitor a given area at 500 frames per second, and can distinguish individual lightning strikes within each flash. NOAA/NASA

On Saturday we wrote about the upgraded fire sensors on the new GOES-16 satellite that is still being tested prior to being declared fully operational.

It also has the first sensor on a satellite specifically designed for monitoring lightning. The Geostationary Lightning Mapper records total lightning (in-cloud, cloud-to-cloud, and cloud-to-ground) activity continuously day and night over the Americas and adjacent ocean regions.

In addition, the baseline imager will view the Earth with 16 different spectral bands (compared to five on current GOES satellites) and it will provide three times more spectral information, four times the spatial resolution, and more than five times faster temporal coverage than the current system.


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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

One thought on “New lightning sensor on GOES-16”

  1. This GOES program is fascinating for sure. I remember sitting in a USFS lookout in N Cal and having the stool on insulators ready to stand on incase it started popping around me!


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