The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration new weather satellite has started sending down it’s first images of lightning storms on Earth.
The Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM), aboard the new GOES- 16 weather satellite, orbits the Earth at 22,300 miles in altitude. The satellite is in fixed orbit over the Western Hemisphere at an altitude of 22,300 miles.
That constant view is what separates the new satellite from pictures of lightning taken from moving platforms like the International Space Station. The satellite can essentially sit over storms and show whether they are getting stronger or weaker.
Lightning in the video illuminates the storms developing over southeast Texas on the morning of February 14, 2017. Frequent lightning is occurring with the convective cells embedded in this severe weather system. The green cross indicates the location of Houston, and green dotted lines indicate the Texas coastline.
Monitoring the flash rate from convective cells and their extent can help forecasters improve tornado and severe weather forecasts and warnings and their impending threat to the public.