US 9,810,811 B2
Predicting the potential for severe weather
Robert S. Marshall, Ijamsville, MD (US); Christopher Dale Sloop, Mount Airy, MD (US); Benjamin E. Beroukhim, Rockville, MD (US); Chonglin Liu, Rockville, MD (US); Stan Heckman, Chelmsford, MA (US); and Mark A. Hoekzema, Germantown, MD (US)
Assigned to Earth Networks, Inc., Germantown, MD (US)
Filed by Earth Networks, Inc., Germantown, MD (US)
Filed on Aug. 12, 2014, as Appl. No. 14/458,174.
Application 14/458,174 is a continuation of application No. 13/177,266, filed on Jul. 6, 2011, granted, now 8,836,518.
Prior Publication US 2015/0134252 A1, May 14, 2015
This patent is subject to a terminal disclaimer.
Int. Cl. G01W 1/16 (2006.01); G01W 1/02 (2006.01); G01W 1/10 (2006.01); G08G 1/0967 (2006.01); G08B 21/10 (2006.01)
CPC G01W 1/16 (2013.01) [G01W 1/02 (2013.01); G01W 1/10 (2013.01); G01W 2203/00 (2013.01); G08B 21/10 (2013.01); G08G 1/0967 (2013.01)] 23 Claims
OG exemplary drawing
 
1. A computer-implemented method for predicting the potential for severe weather, the method comprising:
receiving, by a computing device, data associated with lightning activity, wherein the data includes lightning flash data collected during a specific time interval;
identifying, by the computing device, one or more cells of lighting activity based upon the lightning flash data, comprising:
positioning each lightning flash on a map according to its geographic location;
superimposing a first grid on the map and identifying sectors of the first grid with a high density of lightning flashes;
superimposing a second grid on the identified sectors of the map to locate closed contours associated with a lightning cell; and
generating a convex polygon from each of the closed contours;
determining, by the computing device, a movement speed, a movement direction, and a lightning rate of the one or more cells of lightning activity based on the received data;
generating, by the computing device, a threshold lightning rate for each of the one or more cells of lightning activity by correlating present atmospheric conditions in a location of the one or more cells of lightning activity with historical atmospheric conditions in the location of the one or more cells of lightning activity;
comparing, by the computing device, the determined lightning rate to the threshold lightning rate;
determining, by the computing device, one or more geographical areas at risk based on the location, the movement speed, and the movement direction of the one or more cells of lightning activity; and
issuing, by the computing device, an alert to one or more remote devices monitoring the geographical areas at risk when the determined lightning rate exceeds the threshold lightning rate.