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Lightning Location Information   

Enhanced Location-specific Lightning Alert Webpage (beta version)

Number of lightning strokes detected over the Hong Kong territory in the past hour (2:00a.m. - 2:59a.m.):

Cloud-to-ground lightning: 0Cloud-to-cloud lightning: 0

Points to Note:

  • The Lightning Location Network is jointly operated by the Hong Kong Observatory, the Guangdong Meteorological Services and the Macao Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau. Currently, it comprises nine stations located at Chung Hom Kok, Tsim Bei Tsui, Sha Tau Kok and Chek Lap Kok in Hong Kong, Sanshui, Huidong, Yangjiang and Dongao Island, Zhuhai in Guangdong, as well as Taipa in Macao. (Click here to see the location of these stations)

  • The image shows cloud-to-ground or cloud-to-cloud lightning strokes as detected by the Lightning Location Network over the Pearl River Estuary and nearby regions in the past 30 minutes. The lightning records are updated at 5-minute intervals. Cloud-to-cloud lightning strokes are those detected strokes that did not reach the ground. As such, they might not affect people or facilities on the ground. However, it should be noted that they may sometimes precede cloud-to-ground strokes. The location as shown depicts roughly the starting point of the discharge from one cloud to the other.

  • The above map can be zoomed into street level so that the lightning symbol may be displayed over a street or a building. Please note that the actual location of the lightning stroke may be more than several hundred metres away from the displayed position. Although the map can be scaled down to show other parts of the world, it will only display lightning location within the vicinity of Hong Kong.

  • The Observatory's enhanced Lightning Location Information System with new computer hardware and software was put into operation in May 2017.

  • The Observatory replaced the lightning sensors at Chung Hom Kok, Tsim Bei Tsui, Sha Tau Kok and Taipa with new model sensors and set up new lightning detection stations at Chek Lap Kok and Dongao Island during the period from December 2017 to July 2018. The aforesaid six new sensors became operational in early 2019.

  • The accuracy of the enhanced system in determining the location of cloud-to-ground lightning strokes is about 250 m within the network when all stations are operative. The lightning detection efficiency, i.e. the probability that a stroke with peak current greater than a certain level can be detected by the network, is estimated to reach 95%. The efficiency of cloud-to-cloud lightning detection is more than 50%. The location accuracy and detection efficiency will be reduced when the lightning stroke occurs outside of the network or when not all of the stations are operative.

  • There is no guarantee that all occurred lightning strokes can be detected and false detection of lightning strokes cannot be ruled out completely. As it takes time for communication and computation, there is normally a delay of a few minutes in the display of data. Other factors, including interruption to telecommunications services and power supply, can also affect the reliability and availability of the lightning information.

  • The background geographical information in this page comes from OpenStreetMap and the usage is subject to OpenStreetMap's License Terms.

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