Lightning strokes/strikes/flashes - what is the difference?

A single "event" detected by radio frequency (RF) networks like Blitzortung.org is defined scientifically as a (lightning) stroke. Therefore we show the location of lightning strokes on our maps. On our realtime maps you will often see multiple strokes appearing almost at the same time within a small area. This whole event is called a lightning flash. Flashes can have up to ~40 strokes (typically 3), hence they appear to flicker. All other words such as "discharge" and "strike" are more generic and not formally related to the scientific lightning terminology. The word “strike” is usually used to refer to a cloud-to-ground lightning flash. Unfortunately Blitzortung.org currently don't distinguish between cloud-to-ground (CG) and intra-cloud or cloud-to-cloud events.

What's the difference between Blitzortung.org and LightningMaps.org

Blitzortung.org is a community of station operators who transmit their data to the central server, programmers who develop software, and people who assist anyway to keep the system running. On LightningMaps.org visualizes the gathered lightning data in different variants, for example as overlay on satellite images.

How can I participate?

Read the project description on this page. Try to understand at least the general idea of TOA lightning detection. After that, send an inquiry via the form on the same page. Please note, that setting up a lightning detector is not plug-and-play, even when it's already assembled.

What's the difference between MyBlitzortung and LightningMaps.org?

MyBlitzortung is the underlying PHP software and LightningMaps.org is the web page. All maps on LightningMaps.org are created by MyBlitzortung PHP application, which is Open Source.

How good is the accuracy of a located position?

Depending station density in a region, our accuracy can be better than one kilometer. However, due to computing errors there may be completely false located strikes from time to time.

Do you catch every stroke?

No. It depends on station density and stroke type. Detection rate is better on cloud to ground strikes, than on intra cloud.

I have a question. How can I contact you?

Before contacting us, please have a look at our forum. Maybe your question has already been answered there. There's also a list of external forums for different languages/regions where you can ask your question.