MetraWeather Lightning Proximity Alerting

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 600 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.

Showcase – Rio Tinto Yarwun

Rio Tinto Yarwun is a world-class alumina refinery situated north-west of Gladstone in central Queensland. Commitment to the safety of employees and contractors and protection of the environment are integral to the values of Rio Tinto’s operations. The accuracy of observations of lightning strikes and the trust placed in the detection network and communications channels mean that Rio Tinto Yarwun has not only been able to successfully safeguard its workforce, but also to reduce stand-down time from an average of 4 hours to an average of just 20 minutes.


About MetraWeather Asia
MetraWeather is a specialist private weather guidance company with a strong footprint in South East Asia. The company is backed by the meteorological expertise of parent company MetService, a National Meteorological Service certified to provide public safety and aviation weather guidance.

About TOA Systems
TOA Systems is a preeminent manufacturer of integrated lightning detection and warning systems. TOA has now installed over 600 lightning location sensors in more than 50 countries. TOA sister company GPATS operates the Australian National Lightning Network used by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. MetraWeather is an accredited GPATS reseller.

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