Sources: environment Canada http://ec.gc.ca/foudre-lightning/default.asp?lang=En&n=5D5FB4F8-1Lightning is a common meteorological hazard in Canada, which regularly kills and injures people. Based on an analysis of media reports, vital statistics, hospital admission and ER records, and fire loss data, it is estimated that each year on average in Canada, there are between nine and 10 lightning-related deaths and up to 164 lightning-related injuries.Lightning flashes occur in Canada about 2.7 million times a year and during the summer months about once every three seconds. Lightning causes over 4,000 forest fires, numerous power outages and is responsible for over six dozen serious injuries and deaths every year nationwide (Source: Environment Canada). Lightning Bolts from the BlueIn most people’s minds, the risk associated with lightning from a thunderstorm occurs during the thunderstorm itself, along with rain, wind and sometimes hail. But statistics show that most of the injuries and deaths that result from lightning occur before the rain that is associated with a thunderstorm starts, or after the rain has stopped. In fact did you know that lightning has been recorded hitting more than 40 kilometres (25 miles) from these storm clouds? This is why it is important to keep an eye on the weather at all times.When you hear thunder, lightning is within striking distance and it is time to seek shelter immediately in an enclosed building or hard topped vehicle. Also keep in mind that the sounds of thunder can be blocked by mountainous terrain or buildings. Thunder can also travel fast or slow and can be deflected depending on the atmospheric conditions and proximity to bodies of water. Lastly, remember to wait for a full 30 minutes after the last roll of thunder before going back outside. Risks of Lightning – Humans or animals struck by lightning may suffer severe injury or even death due to internal organ and nervous system damage. Buildings or tall structures hit by lightning may be damaged as the lightning seeks unintended paths to ground. Common activities associated with lightning strikes, in order of danger, are:1. Work or play in open fields. 2. Boating, fishing, and swimming.3. Working on heavy farm or road equipment.4. Playing golf.5. Talking on the telephone.6. Repairing or using electrical appliances. Lightning Safety Tips: http://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/lightning-safety-tips/9341/ Environment Canada’s (EC) Safety guidelines: http://ec.gc.ca/foudre-lightning/default.asp?lang=En&n=159F8282-1
The Weather Network (TWN) wanted to build an alerting system that utilized TWN’s own Pelmorex Lightning Detection Network (PLDN) and provide information for the public’s safety and wellbeing.Project’s objective was to create an interactive lightning product, that included:· Alerts on website · Alerting via Text/SMS and email· Displaying alerts on TWN Website city pages· Provide interactive components – distance of an individual strike (Tap-to-Gauge / Distance Calculator)· Create a dynamic map for TWN website and mobile web (coming soon)· Alerts on Mobile applications (coming soon)· Display map on TV Locals segment (coming soon)Through the Lightning Alert project, TWN hopes to provide information for the public’s safety and wellbeing.TWN has released public Lightning Alerts on our website and through text/SMS/email alerts, Mobile (soon) and TV to follow.The hopes are that the general public can use these alerts to keep themselves safe in the event of a thunderstorm.For example, for your softball team, you can get prior warning of a thunderstorm and seek appropriate cover, you can stop swimming in your outdoor pool or reschedule your golf tee time.
There are 79 sensors currently in place across Canada.+ access to international sensors across US and world.In order to provide a tool to accurately track and monitor this hazardous weather event Pelmorex installed and operates a next generation ‘Time-of-Arrival’ (TOA) real-time Lightning Detection Network. The Pelmorex Lightning Detection Network’s (PLDN) state-of-the-art Precision Lightning Sensor (PLS) technology utilizes the Global Positioning System’s (GPS) timing precision to accurately pinpoint strike location. The PLS technology provides a higher degree of accuracy and detection success rate compared to magnetic direction finding sensors by refining the triangulation methods used. This results in a lower false strike rate and increased confidence in strike location relative to important assets. See attached zip file of Fort Frances_LDNSensor – photos of the antennas and the sensor boxSee attached KML file for sensor locations across Canada.
Key operational infrastructure software and components: Lightning Detection Network (sensor and processing infrastructure)FME Server 2013 sp4 PostGreSQL 9.2.2 with PostGIS 2.0Apache Active Message Queue (AMQ)
This is an overview of the process_strikes workspace:We have opened up a TCPIP port that actively listens for lightning across the PLDN, when a lightning strike is detected, it is received by our FME workspace, specifically a TCPIPReceiver transformer, that is always listening and ready to act.The lightning triggers our workspace to record the lighting to our PostGres Database, then does a Point on Area analysis to determine if the new lightning stroke falls inside an active (or inactive) Canadian warning zone.The zone now contains information about the number of strikes to ‘hit’ the zone, time of last strike, active event start time etc…(see screen capture)Next, we use the JMSSender transformer to submit the JSON message to our Active Message Queue (AMQ) server. The AMQ then distributes this message to downstream processes that format, ensure there are no duplicated messages, and submit to the various clients (Website, Mobile, SMS/Email (and in the future on TV)).*** We tested using the FME built in Notification (e.g. an FME Server subscription, using a JMS protocol) we went with the JMS Sender vs the notification since it limited the engine used and did not trigger any outside workspaces running.During an ‘Active’ storm there can be tens of thousands of lightning strikes a minute.Finally all records in the database are updated with this real time data and then the next lighting stroke is processed. Point formListen for a lightning strike (open TCP/IP port) – always open (listening)Write lightning to PostGISSpatial Processing (does strike fall on land? Which zone?)Other logic (is zone active? What time frame? Within 5 minutes?)Generate customized JSON messageDispatch message Update active areas in database
Project challenges:- Real time data feed/sensors- Volume of data (lightning can strike 10,000 + strikes per second)- Cross platform development (TV, Web, Mobile, PC) – solution had to be platform agnostic.- Short time frame to have impact (release deadline = Lightning ‘season’)- Staff resources Project duration = approximately 6 months to develop, test and deploy (with proof of concept assistance provided by Aaron at Safe). Critical dates that affected duration = Canadian Thunderstorm season is from May - SeptemberMain project team = 2 FT, 1 system administrator, 1 tester, 1 project manager (and a variety of project stakeholders etc…)The developer duties included: - documenting, - building the test environments,- the connectors (lightning and downstream data rules enforcement),- the FME workspaces (main workspaces and clean up processes), - the operational environments, - Investigating scenarios and logic from email notification (new in FME 2013) to the eventual AMQ logic,- Building QAQC tools, test plans etc… A tool that was developed for QAQC included this ‘Lightning Viewer’ application that allowed QAQC analysts to pinpoint Lightning activity, and qualify alerts.
WebSlide: Web Site Results There are several pieces to the lightning Alert on TWN’s website that are generated via the lightning Alerts project, depending on different rules and criteria.- The Lightning Alert page: including the map, the alert details and distance calculator:- And if there are other Weather watches and warnings (e.g. an environment Canada Severe Thunderstorm warning or watch): the public will see this the lightning Alert in the side panel:
WebSlide: Web Site Results There are several pieces to the lightning Alert on TWN’s website that are generated via the lightning Alerts project, depending on different rules and criteria.- The Lightning Alert page: including the map, the alert details and distance calculator:- And if there are other Weather watches and warnings (e.g. an environment Canada Severe Thunderstorm warning or watch): the public will see this the lightning Alert in the side panel:Mobile Here is an example of the iPhone Warning, with 2 alerts.Note: All platforms will be supported in future, currently only iPhone app is due for release Since the message is created by our FME server and Lightning Alert system, any client that can consume XML messages will be able to consume these alerts.In addition, these messages can be disseminated down to the postal code level. Future releases/ project phases will include: Dynamic Maps: Currently the radar map is used as a place holder for the lightning strike locations (coming soon). Other Mobile platforms: Plans to release apps for all supported devices The Weather Eye – a TWN desktop application: Plans to release alerts for desktop application Commercial clients: We have many commercial clients (e.g. Hydro electric companies, sports facilities, air ports etc…) that subscribe to email, SMS or text notifications based upon their buffered distance.e.g. A client wants to receive alerts for a 50Km radius from the CN tower in Toronto. TV & iTV: we will be releasing TV version that includes maps and alert messages and an interactive TV
Mobile Here is an example of the iPhone Warning, with 2 alerts.Note: All platforms will be supported in future, currently only iPhone app is due for release
Since the message is created by our FME server and Lightning Alert system, any client that can consume XML messages will be able to consume these alerts.In addition, these messages can be disseminated down to the postal code level. Future releases/ project phases will include: Dynamic Maps: Currently the radar map is used as a place holder for the lightning strike locations (coming soon). Other Mobile platforms: Plans to release apps for all supported devices The Weather Eye – a TWN desktop application: Plans to release alerts for desktop application Commercial clients: We have many commercial clients (e.g. Hydro electric companies, sports facilities, air ports etc…) that subscribe to email, SMS or text notifications based upon their buffered distance.e.g. A client wants to receive alerts for a 50Km radius from the CN tower in Toronto. TV & iTV: we will be releasing TV version that includes maps and alert messages and an interactive TV
1. CONNECT. TRANSFORM. AUTOMATE.
We Interrupt your Regularly
Real Time Lightning Alerts
From The Weather Network
GIS Developer @ The Weather Network
Lightning is Dangerous
Deaths = estimated 9-10 per year
Injury = estimated 164 per year
Costs to businesses, infrastructure and insurance
“Bolts from the Blue”
lightning flashes occur in Canada about 2.34 million times a
year, including about once every three seconds during the
We benchmark tested 50,000 strikes a second (aka
4. Project Goals
Public Alerts through:
Alerts on TWN’s Website
Alerts on local TV segments
Alerts via Text/SMS and Email
Alerts via Mobile applications
Interactive tools (distance calculator)
“To provide information for the public’s safety and wellbeing”
5. What type of Sensors do you use?
Snow removal equipment
Fleet tracking (emergency vehicles, taxis, bus
Vessel tracking (e.g. exact earth)
Smart cars (e.g. tesla)
Mobile phones, Twitter, Instagram, social media
7. Project Infrastructure
from data feed
Check if last
strike was within
Update last strike
Set zone to active
Publish workspace with Job Submitter
Message to AMQ
Message to AMQ
Real-time data feed
Volume of data
Short time frame
Limited staff resources
Six months to develop, test, deploy
Team: Developers, System Admin, Tester, Project Manager
Developers: Built, tested, documented system.
Included a specialist QA/QC tool: Lightning Viewer
13. Next Products
Dynamic Lightning maps on website
TV &iTV Lightning Maps and Alerts
Lightning Alerts on all phone platforms
User selectable warnings
14. Thank You!
For more information:
Fiona Hatfield - email@example.com
Pelmorex Media Inc.