Lightning is one of the most dangerous and frequently encountered weather hazards in Australia. There are deaths and over 100 severe injuries caused by lightning in Australia year-on-year.
Lightning can severely harm or take the lives of workers and has the potential to disrupt operations through damage to communications and plant infrastructure, fire and ignition risks, and downtime on sites until the lightning threat has passed.
In Australia, the Pacific and South East Asia, MetraWeather partners with Florida, USA headquartered TOA Systems Inc., the pre-eminent manufacturer of integrated lightning networks and warning systems.
Over the past 10 years, TOA Systems has installed more than 500 lightning location sensors in over 50 countries. It owns and operates the Australian Global Positioning and Tracking Systems Pty. Ltd (GPATS) network incorporating over 100 sensors.
MetraWeather uses the data derived from GPATS in its lightning proximity dashboards.
- Real-time lightning observations
- Forecast lightning zones expected over the following hour
- Enhanced near-real-time rain radar
- Accumulated hourly and 24-hourly rainfall
- Current imagery from the Himawari-8 satellite
- Visual site-specific lightning proximity alerts
- In conjunction with the dashboards, MetraWeather also provides customers with email and SmartAlerts to a nominated directory of employees advising of lightning proximity to specified site latitudes, longitudes within a radius of 10 kilometres.
These alerts form the basis of a cease work instruction and site evacuations to predetermined ‘safe’ sites. The same communication channels also advise employees when the lightning threat has passed and it is safe to return to work.
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