Lightning strikes can be used to predict flash floodsNovember 21st, 2008 - 3:25 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, Nov 21 (ANI): A researcher from Tel Aviv University in Israel is studying lightning strikes to predict flash floods.
Unlike normal floods, which arrive slowly and with more warning, flash floods are particularly dangerous because they happen so quickly, developing from thunderstorms that form in a matter of hours.
The researcher, who is studying the link between lightning and subsequent flash floods is Professor Colin Price, coordinator of the international Flash Project and head of the Geophysics and Planetary Physics Department at Tel Aviv University.
The three-year study includes scientists from five European countries, and its results are expected to be adopted by weather forecasting agencies around the world.
The goal is to develop an early warning system for people in the path of a flood.
Flash floods are different from normal floods, which are often the product of melting snow. Flash floods are short-lived and dump a lot of rain, said Professor Price, a climate change specialist.
Using the radiation emitted from lightning flashes, weve developed a system that can give adequate warning to the public - and save lives, he added.
Eventually, the Flash system may be used to send messages to cell phones, RSS feeds, GPS units and other devices to warn people in the path of a flash flood and avert disaster.
By measuring the radiation emitted by lightning, researchers can pinpoint the most intense thunderstorms, and the resulting rainfall can be located and tracked.
This data has been used to predict both the path of a storm and where heavy rainfall will appear - crucial predictions, since the impact of flash floods depends on ground topography, slope and vegetation cover.
Looking at real-time lightning data, Tel Aviv University researchers can see where storms will travel over a period of a few hours, and can warn people in the path of the flood of impending danger.
Such a tool will become even more relevant as erratic weather patterns, predicted by climate-change scientists today, become a reality tomorrow.
This is a tool for the future, said Professor Price. And it will be even more exciting in the next decade, when well have continuous real-time detection of lightning activity from satellites. That data will be used to predict floods anywhere, he added. (ANI)
- Warming could unleash more violent storms, says study - Jul 11, 2012
- Earth sees about 760 thunderstorms every hour, say scientists - Apr 07, 2011
- Israeli technology minimizes bird hits in flight - Feb 08, 2012
- Cell phone towers can help predict the next big flood - Jul 07, 2009
- GPS technology helps improve weather forecasts - Jun 14, 2012
- Cell phone towers may help predict next big flood - Jul 07, 2009
- Last year's Pakistan floods could have been predicted - Feb 01, 2011
- New tool can locate buried artefacts - Mar 09, 2011
- New lightning network to improve thunderstorm monitoring - Nov 26, 2009
- Carbon monoxide has calming effect on nerves - Nov 09, 2011
- Storms cause havoc in Australia - Nov 10, 2011
- Doppler radars to make monsoon rainfall prediction more accurate - Oct 06, 2010
- First X-ray images of lightning captured - Dec 25, 2010
- Global warming to flood low lying areas more frequently - Feb 27, 2012
- Rogue storm system caused devastating Pakistan floods - Jan 26, 2011
Tags: climate change, colin price, early warning system, flash flood, flash floods, flash project, flash system, impending danger, lightning data, lightning flashes, lightning strikes, melting snow, physics department, planetary physics, professor colin, professor price, tel aviv university, time lightning, university researchers, weather forecasting