New technology launched to track lightning strikes

New technology is being used to track lightning strikes across south east Queensland for the first time this storm season.

Energex’s Danny Donald said they are now using the Generation Four Lightning Tracker system.

“In the last storm season alone we tracked around 160-thousand lightning strikes, that helps us in a lot of ways, particularly the way we send our crews out to work” Mr Donald said.


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He added “there’s no way that we can send our crews up in buckets obviously when there’s lightning cracking around them” so they will generally wait around 30 minutes after the last strike before giving crews the all clear.

Mr Donald went on to explain how the system works, he said “we’ve got aerials around south east Queensland that track the lightning, they can tell whether the lightning has gone from cloud to cloud or cloud to ground because each lightning strike has its own individual signature”.

“And once that has all passed and once the lightning has subsided, we then send our crews out there to start doing their work”.

The technology also allows them to tell different lightning strikes apart.

Mr Donald explained that it works a little like an AM radio “when you listen to AM radio you can hear a bit of a crackle over the network and that’s exactly how our technology picks up the lightning strikes, you can hear the crackle and each crackle is different, and that’s the different signature of each lightning strike and that way we see if the lightning’s close or how far away it is”.

Thunderstorms are forecast on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day but the top temperature tomorrow will be a milder 27 degrees.

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