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NOAA NWS Emulated GOES-R Lightning Strike Density - This nowCOAST time-enabled map service provides maps of experimental lightning strike density data from the NOAA/National Weather Service/NCEP’s Ocean Prediction Center (OPC) which emulate (simulate) data from the future NOAA GOES-R Global Lightning Mapper (GLM). The purpose of this experimental product is to provide mariners and others with enhanced “awareness of developing and transitory thunderstorm activity, to give users the ability to determine whether a cloud system is producing lightning and if that activity is increasing or decreasing…” Lightning Strike Density, as opposed to display of individual strikes, highlights the location of lightning cores and trends of increasing and decreasing activity. The maps depict the density of lightning strikes during a 15 minute time period at an 8 km x 8 km spatial resolution. The lightning strike density maps cover the geographic area from 25 degrees South to 80 degrees North latitude and from 110 degrees East to 0 degrees West longitude. The map units are number of strikes per square km per minute multiplied by a scaling factor of 10^3. The strike density is color coded using a color scheme which allows the data to be easily seen when overlaid on GOES imagery and to distinguish values at low density values. The maps are updated on nowCOAST approximately every 15 minutes. The latest data depicted on the maps are approximately 12 minutes old (or older). The OPC lightning strike density product is still experimental and may not always be available. Given the spatial resolution and latency of the data, the data should NOT be used to activite your lightning safety plans. Always follow the safety rule: when you first hear thunder or see lightning in your area, activate your emergency plan. If outdoors, immediately seek shelter in a substantial building or a fully enclosed metal vehicle such as a car, truck or a van. Do not resume activities until 30 minutes after the last observed lightning or thunder.



Map Type

ArcGIS Mapserver

Map Source


NOAA NowCoast