We have an ancestral fear of lightning and we are right: a single lightning bolt contains an energy that can reach 5 billion Joules, the same energy can be produced burning over 100 liters of oil, this energy is concentrated in a small space and in a very short time span, in the order of milliseconds.

We could think that the probability that lightning strike in our neighborhood is definitely negligible, but, considering the climate change and the forecast of a generalized increase in storm weather events, we could also estimate that the lightning’s accidents are not so rare, as shown by the two fatal cases registered in Italy this summer.

An international research team, made up of Swiss scientists from the EPFL – École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science of the University of Leeds (UK) and the University of Applied Sciences of Western Switzerland, has designed a powerful artificial intelligence algorithm able to predict the areas where lightning will fall, within a radius of 30 kilometers and with an advance time of 10 to 30 minutes. The forecasted data processed, correlated with lightning recorded in the past by detection and localization systems, reach an accuracy of 80%.

The most interesting aspect lies in the fact that this model is not based on data collected by radars or satellites, very expensive to obtain, but on four commonly available surface weather variables: air pressure at station level (QFE), air temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed. Scientists have developed this artificial intelligence algorithm, based on data collected over 10 years from 12 Swiss weather stations, distributed in urban and mountain areas.

This system, once verified and approved, could also be transferred to a smartphone application capable of alerting users, in real-time, of the risk of thunderstorms and lightning in their areas.

This would be extremely useful to safeguard our Christmas tree, decorated with loving care and positioned in the adjacent home garden, so it can cheer us up, in the coming Christmas holidays, without suffering the risk of being struck by lightning.

In this regard and without joking, we would like to extend to you all our Best Wishes for Merry Christmas and Prospering year 2020.

ACTION ICT is a young, dynamic and innovative IT company. It operates, both nationally and internationally, offering professional skills and design solutions in the ICT field to medium and large businesses. Our highly skilled know-how is housed in three expertise specific departments: ACTION DATA (Big Data and Analytics), ACTION APP (Web & Mobile Application) and ACTION IOT (Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things and Robotics).

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