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  120 million workers will need to be retrained due to AI, says IBM study

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

RSS Latest Technology News

  • Intel is using machine learning to make GTA V look incredibly, unsettlingly realistic May 13, 2021
    Putting the game through the processes researchers Stephan R. Richter, Hassan Abu Alhaija, and Vladlen Kolten created produces a surprising result: a visual look that has unmistakable similarities to the kinds of photos you might casually take through the ...
    Carlos Campbell
  • Instagram announces dedicated area to add pronoun choices to profiles May 12, 2021
    Instagram has announced that users can now add their preferred pronoun from choices provided by Instagram, into a designated area on their profile. App users will be able to add up to four pronoun choices, to be displayed on their profile, the company said.
    Douglas Jones
  • TCL's First Absolutely Massive TVs Are Officially Here May 12, 2021
    After being teased at CES earlier this year, TCL has officially announced pricing and availability for its monster 80-inch-plus displays. You know, for those of us who want our screens to effectively take up an entire wall in our homes. Advertisement.


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.