WWLL Network Global Lightning Locations

 

WWLLN
World Wide Lightning Location Network (wwlln.net)

SYSTEM MESSAGE:
WWLLN announces a new global monitor of over 1,500 volcanos for ash cloud lightning, updated every minute. (see Press Release and News Coverge
WWLLN in the news: Dont miss the latest coverage about our research results in Science News .
Also, our Google Earth distribution has become more of a load than we can continue to provide at the highest time resolution. Our new Google Earth overlay for 1 hour of global data ending 6 hours ago is found HERE . If you need a higher resolution Google Earth overlay, please contact Prof. Holzworth.



Contact Prof. Holzworth at bobholz@washington.edu , Director of WWLLN, with any questions you may have.

Americas Lightning

Americas Lightning

Americas Lightning

Americas Lightning

- click on image to get a bigger version -
(Notes: cloud data thanks to National Weather Service/Aviation Weather Center; blue overlay dots are WWLLN Lightning; Red circles are WWLLN receivers; Red line is the terminator)

University of Washington in Seattle operating a network of lightning location sensors at VLF (3-30 kHz). Most ground-based observations in the VLF band are dominated by impulsive signals from lightning discharges called “sferics”. Significant radiated electromagnetic power exists from a few hertz to several hundred megahertz, with the bulk of the energy radiated at VLF.

With our network of sferic sensors we are producing regular maps of lightning activity over the entire Earth. Our map showing the entire world uses coloured spots to indicate lightning strokes (red stars inside an open circle are active WWLLN lightning sensor locations).  Click on the map for explanation.

The WWLLN Management Team, lead by Prof Robert Holzworth of the University of Washington produced these data and images with the cooperation of the universities and institutes which host the stations as listed below.

Wideband VLF spectrograms from all WWLLN stations are available this link or by clicking on the station name below.
We currently have over 50 sensors around the globe to detect sferic activity in the VLF band, listed below in the order of their establishment:

Dunedin and ScottBase

University of Otago/Te Whare Wānanga o Otāgo (New Zealand)

Brisbane

Griffith University, Brisbane

Perth

Murdoch University, Perth

Singapore

National University of Singapore

Ōsaka

Ōsaka University

Budapest

Eotvos Lorand University

Seattle

University of Washington

Boston

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Durban and Hermanus and SANAE Base

University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa)

Sao Paulo

INPE (Brazilian National Institute for Space Research)

Suva

University of the South Pacific (Fiji)

Los Alamos

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Mexico City

Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico

Tahiti

Universite de la Polynesie Francaise

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv University

Sheffield

University of Sheffield

Lisbon

Portugal Meteorological Institute

Huancayo

Instituto Geofisico del Peru

Puerto Rico

University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez

Cordoba

Universidad Nacional de Cordoba (Argentina)

Finland

SodankyaGeophysical Observatory, Sodankyla, Finland

Honolulu

University of Hawaii at Manoa

Rothera

British Antarctic Survey

Lanzhou

Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Insitute, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Ascension Is.

British Geological Survey and BAS

Kingston and Davis

Australian Antarctic Division

Hermanus

Hermanus Magnetic Observatory and University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa)

Boulder and Fairbanks

USGS/Magnetic Observatories (USA)

UCLA

Dept. of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences (USA)

Costa Rica

Center for Geophysical Research (CIGEFI), University of Costa Rica (Costa Rica)

 

Yakutsk

Yu.G. Shafer Institute of Cosmophysical Research and Aeronomy

 

Beijing and Nanjing

Chinese Academy of Sciences

 

Scott Base

Antarctica New Zealand, Host: U. Otago, Dunedin, NewZealand

 

Tallahassee 

Florida State University, Department of Meteorology 

 

Manaus 

INPA (Brazilian National Institute for Amazon Research) - LBA Program, Manaus, Brazil 

 

LaReunion 

Universite de la Reunion, La Reunion Island (Indian Ocean), France 

 

RioGallegos

CONICET, RioGallegos, Argentina 

 

Maitri 

Antarctic station host NCAOR, Goa, India 

 

Chofu 

Univ. of Electro-Communications, Chofu-city, Tokyo, Japan 

 

Trelew 

Departamento de Fisica, Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia, Trelew, Argentina 

 

Dakar 

University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar (SENEGAL) 

 

Nigeria 

Ebonyi State University Abakaliki Nigeria 

 

Houghton 

Michigan Technological University(MTU), Houghton, Michigan 

 

http://163.178.48.4/vlf.png

http://163.178.48.4/vlf.png

 

 

 

 


How it works

We welcome offers of hosting a new WWLLN sensor to add to the list above. All hosts receive all the world-wide data for their own research on monthly CDs. In return, each host provides the computer and meets any local expenses like power, Internet, and maintenance.  However, do not think that a sensor on your own campus is going to give you lightning location data on its own. Only the whole network does that.

Each lightning stroke location requires the time of group arrival (TOGA) from a least 5 WWLLN sensors. These sensors may be several thousand km distant from the stroke. The geographical  arrangement  of the sensors is important: a lightning stroke which is enclosed by sensors is much more accurately located than one which is not so enclosed. Clearly a uniform spacing of sensors around the Earth is the ideal. Since the Earth is round, there are no edges: every lightning stroke is surrounded by sensors, but not necessarily by the sensors which sense it. Typically only about 15 to 30% of strokes detected  by one sensor are detected by 5 or more. These strokes are usually the stronger ones. Recent research indicates our detection efficiency for strokes about 30 kA is approximately 30% globally.

To cover the whole world by sensors spaced uniformly about 1000 km apart would require roughly 500 sensors. If spaced 3000 km apart, we would need “only” around 50 to 60 sensors. Presently we have 40 WWLLN sensors, and we are in the process of expanding to 60 sensors within the next year or two.

More information

 

More information on the World Wide  Lightning Location network (WWLLN) is available from our publication list


WWLLN Data available
WWLLN Monthly CDs containing all stroke locations over the whole world for 1 month. These are mailed to subscribers each month, or they may opt to download the data weekly. Archival data are available for sale from January 2004 to the present. Our site hosts receive a free monthly subscription.

WWLLN Data are available via internet with cadence every 10 minutes for research purposes from the University of Washington, or with a cadence of as fast as every minute (i.e. in realtime) from our commercial reseller. Contact Prof. Holzworth for more info.

Contact

for all questions relating to WWLLN:
Prof Robert Holzworth, Earth and Space Sciences,
University of Washington

bobholz@washington.edu



Webpage maintained by:
Craig J Rodger (
University of Otago)
Robert Holzworth (
University of Washington)

Lightning image thanks to photolib.noaa.gov

link to noaa photo library
Web editing:
Bob Holzworth (bobholz@washington.edu)