WeatherTAP has new enhanced lighting data

The page to download the new version of the desktop client is down right now, but I like what I see in the browser version.

Here is a link to a tutorial page:
http://www.weathertap.com/unprotected/stat...ing_decode.html

It *looks* like anyone can view this page judging from the URL, but if you are not a weatherTAP subscriber here is some of the text describing the product:

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Lightning Data Tutorial

Abstract:
This chart depicts the location of recent cloud-to-ground lightning strikes.

Description:
This product uses data from the United States Precision Lightning Network (USPLN) to depict the locations and age of recent lightning strikes. The data originates from land-based strike sensors located throughout the U.S. Note that this image portrays 90% of cloud-to-ground strikes.

Issuance:
Continuously—The image is updated every 10 minutes. All strikes portrayed are a minimum of 12 minutes old at the time of posting.

Data Sources:
Ground-based lightning detector network (USPLN).

Depiction:
Each strike is depicted by a solid square symbol. The age of the strike is depicted by changing the color of the symbol. After 132 minutes, the strike is removed from the map.
The following table shows the color code.

How it works:
When a lightning strike occurs a burst of energy is transmitted though the atmosphere much like a radio wave from a transmitter. Unlike a radio wave, however, lightning energy is not well ordered and spreads out accross many different EM wavelengths.

Lightning detectors work much like a AM radio receiving signals from a tower. The detector contains special equipment that allows it to determine what direction, relative to the detector, the lightning strike occured. The detector notes the polarity, amplitude, and exact time of the strike (determined by an extremely precise, GPS synchronized clock), then transmits that information back to a central hub. The detectors can detect strikes hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Inevitably a strike within the coverage area will be detected by multiple receivers, all of which transmit the strike data and time back to the hub.

Computers at the hub examine the incoming data and correlate strikes based on time and location. By using triangulation methods from the multiple detections, the hub can determine the precise location (down to 250 meters) where the strike occurred.

Data for all detected strikes are collected and transmitted from the lightning data collection hub to the WeatherTAP Data Center. The WeatherTAP Data Center continuously accumulates the data and renders a new lightning strike image every 10 minutes.
 
What's new about the WeatherTap offering is you can now view zoomed regional maps of lightning. AFAIK you have to pay to see them.
 
"Continuously—The image is updated every 10 minutes. All strikes portrayed are a minimum of 12 minutes old at the time of posting. "

If it was being updated continuously - wouldn't it be updated with every lightning strike? I think there wording there is misleading. Plus realize that the absolute newest data is 12 minutes old...

- Rob
 
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