lightning data we have purchased from NLDN, we now
offer strike imagery on our own server via FTP
access free of charge for StormPredator Version
3.1 registered owners. To use it you must
register with your name and email address.
This information is kept private, and you will not
be spammed or assigned to mailing lists. It is
used purely to provide an FTP account and login
username/password combination which is done
automatically. Once your initial registration is
completed, your login to our FTP server to fetch
lightning imagery is automatic, just like
accessing radar images from the NWS.
in StormPredator is rendered on the IntelliWeather
server system from data provided by a third party
private company, NLDN. For that reason, this
imagery is provided at the sole discretion of
NLDN's services and may be changed or discontinued
at any time. Unlike radar data from the NWS,
lightning data is not public domain.
Users can now have lightning strikes for the last
radar image update interval displayed like any
other layer. Each time SP goes to fetch a new
radar image, it will also fetch a new lightning
image. This is done to synchronize radar and
lightning images so that looping looks correct.
Typically a single lightning image contains
lightning strikes for the last 5 minutes.
You can turn the
lightning layer on/off using the standard "Layers"
dialog using either the F9 key of from the main
menu using the "Layers" button.
User controls are in place for color, and type of
strike information to display, such as strike
colors changing over time, or strike colors
represent intensity. See the sample image below to
see how the lightning strikes trail off as the
storms advance. In this example, the radar echoes
layer was turned off to make the lightning strikes
Lightning colors get darker over time (about 2
hours) and you can clearly see where there are
active thunderstorm cells and cell paths. In this
sample, radar echoes were turned off, but you can
control them and lightning just like any other
layer. Lightning imagery can be looped just like
any other layer component and feature a unique
trail-off color scheme so that older strikes
gradually fade off the loop.
lightning imagery must be collected as SP runs,
there is no set of lightning history images
available. A new lightning image will be added
each time SP3 fetches a radar image and is added
automatically to the loop set.
Setting Up Lightning
Choose the Settings
then Lightning buttons from the SP menu
You'll first see
the dialog like the one below.
Here is a brief
description of each option and its function:
you to setup a gradient of colors to represent the
lightning strikes either by age or intensity.
Double click on either end point to change colors
and create a new color gradient. The default blue
tones color gradient works very well to show age
and lightning strike paths over time. We recommend
trying it as is before changing colors.
or the other. The default is "Color represents the
age of a lightning strike"
you to eliminate older strikes from the imagery.
The default is set to 120 minutes. Note that when
you leave strikes on screen for longer periods of
time, "paths" of storms can be plotted using
lightning strikes as they advance across the
landscape. If you are only interested in what is
happening right now, set it to a lower number like
Select display size
you to choose a size for the points that represent
a lightning strike. The default is 1x1. Larger
pixels than 2x2 may blend together leaving
uncertainty on location of individual strikes.
Note that you can
use the location tool of SP to get a latitude or
longitude of a lightning strike or measure