This page is dedicated to the Boltek LD350 lightning detector located at Redshift Observatory. This is a long-range unit which will detect and differentiate cloud-to-cloud and cloud-to-ground lightning strikes as well as negative and positive charged lightning up to 300 miles (480 km) from the detecting antenna at my observatory (center of map). With the use of Astrogenic software (StormVueNGX and Nexstorm), near real-time lightning data can be displayed over the internet. Map scaling is not something the user can do at this time. Currently, I plan to arbitrarily vary the map scale between a 65-mile to 185-mile radius so as to be more relevant to this observatory and local community. During stormy weather, I will keep the map more zoomed in for greater detail.
The map and data are set to update every 1 to 2 minutes. This screen should automatically refresh every 60 seconds. Times are in MST (-7)/MDT (-6). Red starred lightning strikes are the most critical and dangerous – they represent positive cloud-to-ground strikes. Positive-charged lightning originates in the upper portion of a thunderstorm and can generate as much as one billion volts (as opposed to 300,000,000 volts for negative-charged lightning). Fortunately, only 5-10% of all lightning is positively charged. For more details, I encourage you to read this informative discussion on wxbrad.com.
Yellow and orange symbols are old strikes that occurred within the last half hour or earlier. Click on the Map Legend button for more detail. The data below the Map Legend button contains descriptions and locations of currently active thunderstorms. If a storm is detected within the displayed map area, it will be identified with a dashed circle with red being the most intense and green the weakest. During a storm, the data seems to update more frequently than the map – manually refreshing your screen may provide quicker updates. The display and posting of this data is still a work-in-progress and subject to a good internet connection (not always the case up here in the mountains) so please bear with me…
For those who want to compare this data with other recognized sources, check out Lightning.org for real-time regional data.