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Confusion over accuracy of NowCast and StrikeStar


Lazz

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Posted
  • Location: Grantham, Lincolnshire
  • Location: Grantham, Lincolnshire

    Hi all

    Knowing we would get some thunder activity, today I purchased a 1 month subscription to StrikeStar. I was going to use NowCast but was put off by it only using one detector whereas StrikeStar uses many detectors around the country.

    Here is something that is confusing. Check out these images:

    nowcast.jpg

    strikestar1.jpg

    These were both taken at the same time. On the NowCast picture, the area of light green is where the most recent lightning activity occured. It is quite accurate as it is more or less exactly where I live and at the time, I saw at least 3 lightning strikes.

    On the other hand, strikestar shows the nearest lightning to me in the south, no indication that it is actually near me. Now I know that all lightning detectors can fail when it comes to accuracy, but what I dont understand is how strikestar can have so many lightning detector stations about, yet be less accurate than nowcast, with one. About an hour after the lightning and rain had gone, when it was quite calm with just a few clouds about, it wasn't until then that strikestar had lightning dots all over the area where I live.

    Im sorry if this sounds like a rant, Im just a bit confused over the accuracy considering I expected strikestar to be a lot more accurate than Nowcast :)

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    • 2 weeks later...
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    Posted
  • Location: Aviemore
  • Location: Aviemore

    I think this is the problem you are always going to face with these systems that use bolteks - it's widely accepted that one boltek isn't particularly accurate away from the area it's in.

    Plus you have to remember, that even with a system that uses several of these detectors, you're relying on people having them set up correctly, having them switched on and that there is a detector close to your location.

    That's why on netweather and the netweather extra subscription we don't use this technique, the pay off for that is that we only update every 30 minutes - but the massive benefit is that it is completely accurate. Used in combination with the radar in extra, it gives you what imo is the best tool by far for tracking storms across the UK and Europe.

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    Posted
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield
  • Weather Preferences: Any Extreme
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield

    Paul. What system do you use out of interest????

    You also highlight another problem the update period. Great if storms stay still but they don't. The other problem is that storms wax and wane and die. The time period won't reflect that. Of course the technology will eventually made availabe in the UK so you can get up todate information.

    Going to Boltek's they are difficult to setup. It's made more difficult by the lack of live data as such so you can only adjust where you think the storm is. Other seem to come into play like changes in the atmosphere and how the lightning is reflected by to the detector. Nightime supposed to have a effect on detection. Nextstorm has an night time range adjustment. I found this works fairly well in summer most of the time but in winter it doesn't seem to be needed and just pushes the storms to far away. Also changes in the Atmosphere must be the reason why one day your storm tracks very well but the next day it is out.

    I've used to login in to Strikestar but I've lost the password but I still contribute. Although the day in question I can see that my is offline probably becuase I had my computer in bits. I found it fairly accurate last time I looked but it really needs more people to contribute.

    The next versions of nextstorm is supposed to have a drag and drop ranging which should really help but again without up todate data you're still guessing.

    Best thing if you've got a pc get your own. It's good fun watching a storm come espically when you Boltek faths up.

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