AI predicts where lightning will strike with 80% accuracy

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Time to Read: 2 minutes

Lightning has been deemed 'the most unpredictable phenomena in nature' -until now. By combining meteorological data and artificial intelligence, students have determined when and where lightening will strike within 10 to 30 minutes

Lightning has been deemed ‘the most unpredictable phenomena in nature’ – until now.

By combining meteorological data and artificial intelligence, students have determined when and where lightning will strike within 10 to 30 minutes of it happening – and with an 80 percent accuracy

The technology is set to work as an early warning system to prevent effects of lightning strikes to critical infrastructure, sensitive equipment and outdoor facilities.

The system, developed by students at École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL School of Technology), is capable of predicting when and where lighting will strike to the nearest 10 to 30 minutes, within an 18 mile radius.

Amirhossein Mostajabi, the Ph.D. student who came up with the technique, said, ‘Current systems are slow and very complex, and they require expensive external data acquired by radar or satellite.’

‘Our method uses data that can be obtained from any weather station. That means we can cover remote regions that are out of radar and satellite range and where communication networks are unavailable.’

‘The dataset used in the ML model consists of data used as predictors, namely available meteorological data (air pressure, air temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed) and lightning activity data as the response,’ reads the paper published in the journal Nature.

‘The data from lightning location systems are used to first train the ML model and then to validate the accuracy of lightning warnings that it generates as well as the competitive base lines.’ 

Related Article  Using Artificial Intelligence In Malawi To Save Elephants

The team found that the four parameters correlated with recordings from lightning detection and location systems and using that method, the algorithm was able to learn the conditions under which lightning occurs.

Once trained, the system made predictions that proved correct almost 80% of the time.

This is the first time that a system based on simple meteorological data has been able to predict lightning strikes through real-time calculations.

The method offers a simple way of predicting a complex phenomenon.

‘Unlike some lightning warning systems that are based on data from lightning detection networks, the ML model provides a tool for building lightning now casting schemes without using nearby or preceding lightning data as the precursor of the imminent threat. In other words, it does not rely on the first detection of the lightning for generating the warnings,’ the team shared in the paper.

‘Instead, it uses the lightning location systems’ data for labeling the archived data and thus training the model with historical data.’ 

‘Once trained, the model does not need such data to predict lightning occurrence risk in future time windows.’

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this column are that of the writer. The facts and opinions expressed here do not reflect the views of

Leave a Reply


Xtechalpha Xclusive

RSS Latest Technology News

  • Microsoft reveals more Xbox Series X specs, confirms 12 teraflops GPU February 24, 2020
    Microsoft is revealing more specifications about its next-generation Xbox Series X hardware today. The biggest new confirmation is that the Xbox Series X will include 12 teraflops of GPU performance, which is twice what's available in the Xbox One X and ...
    Tom Warren
  • Check out ray tracing in PS2 game Need for Speed Underground February 24, 2020
    In another instance of giving an old game an impressively shiny new coat, YouTuber Stre1itzia has managed to add ray-tracing into the original Need for Speed: Underground from way back in 2003. The fan favourite nocturnal racing game set in a fictional city ...
    Chad Norton
  • Leakers disagree about whether leaked images are really the OnePlus 8 Pro February 24, 2020
    The OnePlus 7T isn't exactly a fading memory, but the OnePlus 8 is definitely on the way. Rumors say OnePlus will be splitting the range into multiple phones once again, and the OnePlus 8 Pro is expected to be the most powerful and advanced version of the ...
    Mark Jansen

Follow Us

AI predicts where lightning will strike with 80% accuracy

by Puneet Time to Read: 2 min
AI Tool to Reshape Treatment by Predicting Cell Behaviors
Get to know the latest updates on exponential technologies, new age industry segments with our weekly XTechalpha Xclusive newsletter straight in your mailbox.