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General Weather/Earth Sciences Topics => Lightning => Topic started by: fsi1212 on March 27, 2017, 04:29:15 AM

Title: Tornado Alert
Post by: fsi1212 on March 27, 2017, 04:29:15 AM
Anyone have one of these? I do and I love it. Yesterday, there was a tornadic storm near Denton. I live in north Fort Worth, so I was just within the 30 mile range that it claims and wouldn't you know, it actually beeped, flashed, and said "Tornado Possible". I was thrilled after I had purchased this product from the Home Depot for about 40 dollars and was skeptical of the technology. Not skeptical any longer and looking forward to seeing how it works with lightning, and maybe even closer storms. Highly recommend this product as it detects lightning and tornadoes.
Title: Re: Tornado Alert
Post by: WeatherHost on March 27, 2017, 05:02:46 AM
Tornado Alert is a scientific breakthrough based upon over 40 years of research. Unlike existing warning technologies, Tornado Alert constantly monitors the skies in real-time for electrical activity, the scientifically proven cause of tornado formation. Tornado Alert will tell you when a tornado, lightning or severe weather is detected within a 30 mile radius of your location, thatís up to 30 minutes warning with live proximity status, giving you with critical time to get to safety, day or night.


Kinda' vague.  I'd need to know more before spending $70

Title: Re: Tornado Alert
Post by: fsi1212 on March 27, 2017, 05:06:34 AM
Honestly it was warning me to tornado activity 15-20 minutes before a warning was issued by the NEW. Home depot has it for much cheaper. I was skeptical as well and could not find anything on the internet about it other than their own page. So I splurged and spent the 40 and it worked very well on a tornado event.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Tornado Alert
Post by: ocala on March 27, 2017, 07:17:27 PM
Tornado Alert is a scientific breakthrough based upon over 40 years of research. Unlike existing warning technologies, Tornado Alert constantly monitors the skies in real-time for electrical activity, the scientifically proven cause of tornado formation. Tornado Alert will tell you when a tornado, lightning or severe weather is detected within a 30 mile radius of your location, thatís up to 30 minutes warning with live proximity status, giving you with critical time to get to safety, day or night.


Kinda' vague.  I'd need to know more before spending $70
I read that that lightning activity can lead to tornado formation but I didn't know it is now a "proven cause of tornado formation".
That's a big difference. I would like to see the track record of this unit in regards to actual velocity data. If this can predict tornado's 100% then that is a huge game changer.
Guess I have to do some more reading on this.
Title: Re: Tornado Alert
Post by: CW2274 on March 27, 2017, 07:51:52 PM
There was a thread on this a few months ago, but apparently removed. Frankly, I think it's nothing more than a gimmick that may do some good, but I sure as hell wouldn't bet my life on it. If this "proven" technology is actually available to the general public, don't ya think the NWS, WMO, ect. would have employed it long ago? Seriously, technology of this magnitude would have made WORLD news.
Title: Re: Tornado Alert
Post by: miraculon on March 28, 2017, 08:42:22 AM
You might want to read this AMS paper (http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/1520-0493(1977)105%3C0734:MORFNF%3E2.0.CO%3B2) before getting too excited about this device. The correlation between tornadoes and RF noise is somewhat weak and dependent on circumstances. Yes, it is an old paper, but the physical processes are still the same and the basic methodology seems valid.

Greg H.
Title: Re: Tornado Alert
Post by: fsi1212 on March 28, 2017, 08:49:20 AM
I don't mean to be rude to either of you, but I want to know how it worked so well the other day. There was a tornadic storm 20 miles north of me and the device alerted me and said "Tornado Risk" 15 minutes before the NWS issued a warning. I feel like testing it directly is a pretty good way to find out if something works.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Tornado Alert
Post by: WeatherHost on March 28, 2017, 09:10:29 AM
There would need to be many, many more than one sample to determine accuracy vs. coincidence.

Title: Re: Tornado Alert
Post by: SoMDWx on March 28, 2017, 10:34:11 AM
Eventually somebody will roll a pair!  Meaning the system will be right at some point...
Title: Re: Tornado Alert
Post by: sacreyweather on March 28, 2017, 10:57:43 AM
Tornado Alert is a scientific breakthrough based upon over 40 years of research. Unlike existing warning technologies, Tornado Alert constantly monitors the skies in real-time for electrical activity, the scientifically proven cause of tornado formation. Tornado Alert will tell you when a tornado, lightning or severe weather is detected within a 30 mile radius of your location, thatís up to 30 minutes warning with live proximity status, giving you with critical time to get to safety, day or night.


Kinda' vague.  I'd need to know more before spending $70
I read that that lightning activity can lead to tornado formation but I didn't know it is now a "proven cause of tornado formation".
That's a big difference. I would like to see the track record of this unit in regards to actual velocity data. If this can predict tornado's 100% then that is a huge game changer.
Guess I have to do some more reading on this.

Like everyone here, I am rather skeptical of this device. I would like to see this in action over several years to prove this actually works. Like ocala, I did not know that lightning was proven to cause tornadoes.  To my knowledge, an increase in lightning, either in intensity or types of lightning, does NOT always precede the formation of tornadoes.  I have personally seen instances of having hardly any CC/CG lightning during a tornado to where one could read a newspaper outside at night because of the tremendous amount of CC/CG lightning before and during a tornadic event.

Most recent instance of this happened last Friday night, March 24, 2017 around 10:30-10:35 pm CDT. A upper end EF-1 tornado passed within 100 yards of my house to my SE.  There was some CC/CG lightning with this, but not a lot. There was a Severe Thunderstorm Warning in effect at the time. The tornado was 200 yards wide, traveled 2 miles, and was on the ground for 4 minutes.  We had no warning in terms of lead time prior to the tornado. This circulation showed up on 1 radar scan, despite the radar updating every 2.2 minutes.

In short, this device would have NOT made any difference in terms of advance warning. If one had $70 to waste, I would buy one and take it apart and see what's inside. Finding a AS3595 lightning detector or its equivalent inside the device would not surprise me, given their low cost.

John

Edit:  Here is a link (https://stormtrack.org/community/threads/tornadoalert.28423/) for the storm chaser communities' reaction (Mostly about like ours here), but there is a post by Lanny Dean about 3/4 the way down explaining the nuts and bolts of this thing. Interesting read on his post.
Title: Re: Tornado Alert
Post by: ClaireAnderson on March 29, 2017, 02:26:54 AM
There are many tools in the market that inform us about the incoming tornadoes and lightning. But some tools provide better and on time notifications as compared to other tools.
Title: Re: Tornado Alert
Post by: n2qew on May 15, 2017, 10:34:42 PM
Ok. I'm curious. One of these has been ordered. Will be opened upon arrival, photographed, and it's secrets displayed to all.
The NWS has a little "fog stream vortex tornado simulator" that they bring to weather interest events. This thing better alarm near that, or it's going back. Oh, wait... It's going back regardless.
Title: Re: Tornado Alert
Post by: drew on May 16, 2017, 08:41:56 AM
I have one of these units. Purchased it last summer out of curiosity. It picks up thunderstorms well, and is usually good at identifying severe storms. I did have a "tornado possible" message last year with a squall line. It was producing insane lightning which likely triggered the tornado message.

I sure wouldn't use it as a primary warning device, but it's fun to watch.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Tornado Alert
Post by: drew on May 16, 2017, 08:50:53 AM
(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170516/3988224e8e7b6f6a8beff384b78ea46d.jpg)
This is from last month. It is picking up a storm that was well below severe limits, about 20 miles away.


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Title: Re: Tornado Alert
Post by: waiukuweather on May 17, 2017, 12:46:31 AM
maybe it picks up static electrical build up in the atmosphere
the boltec can do that a bit, i,e its a like a noise (if you look at the actual wave forms etc) ?
Title: Re: Tornado Alert
Post by: JŠchym on May 17, 2017, 06:25:20 AM
I am a bit skeptical about this. I cannot test this myself, tornados in my country are extremely rare and only very small and I have never seen one myself, however given what I know about them and how they form, it is extremely difficult to predict it, to predict if it will touch down.

There are some signs which can suggest there was one based on a radar image (hook echoes) retrospectivelly. However in this case I rather think this device will predict maybe some storm activity in general rather than risk of a tornado.

Our technology today makes it relatively difficult to even detect an already existing one from a radar image without direct observation reports and so forecasting a formation of one is IMHO just impossible today, all you can do is say it is probable based on a storm activity nearby.
Title: Re: Tornado Alert
Post by: flc85 on May 18, 2017, 12:48:08 AM
There was a thread on this a few months ago, but apparently removed. Frankly, I think it's nothing more than a gimmick that may do some good, but I sure as hell wouldn't bet my life on it. If this "proven" technology is actually available to the general public, don't ya think the NWS, WMO, ect. would have employed it long ago? Seriously, technology of this magnitude would have made WORLD news.




Envoyť de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk
Title: Re: Tornado Alert
Post by: MHCWX on May 18, 2017, 06:20:47 AM
I have owned one of these since October of 2016. I use it as a another way to keep updated when at home. I do not depend on it. Nothing beats a weather radio in my eyes and is what I depend on primarily. But it is a neat thing to have in case.

Sent from my LG-H901 using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Tornado Alert
Post by: WeatherHost on May 18, 2017, 06:28:07 AM
If the technology could be confirmed as generally reliable, it might be interesting to be networked and enable to create screen pops on computers and connected TVs that would pull up some sort of radar screen.


I'd like to see that anyways for homes with multiple devices.  The only program I'm aware of that even comes close as far as notifications is WXMsg.


Title: Re: Tornado Alert
Post by: NathanThompson on July 04, 2018, 09:26:07 AM
I think that all these technologies do not work, my friend tested several such devices and not one did not even show it right! Why are you so sure of your own?
Title: Re: Tornado Alert
Post by: Intheswamp on July 04, 2018, 12:24:34 PM
<chuckle>  If lightning is a tornado-indicator then last night we must of been in the movie "Twister" and didn't know it.  Last night was one of the most intense lightning storms that I've witnessed in quiet some time.  Lot's of cloud-to-cloud, sheet, cloud-ground, etc.,.  I'm stupid, I had to walk out in the side-yard and watch...started raining so had to move to the front porch.  Very intense, continuous lightning for probably 30-45 minutes.  I don't think there ever was a tornado-watch, just a severe t-storm warning (which is usually understood to be a possible tornado producer, but...).

Anyhow, I wonder what that gadget would have said last night.  :shock:

This revived thread did make me check out the gadget online and in doing so I found the "AcuRite 02020 Portable Lightning Detector"...$25 and free shipping with Amazon Prime.  Just a handheld gadget, but would be interesting to see if the data could be tapped into.  I read a few reviews and it seems most folks give it an "ok" review for what it is....4-star rating.  FWIW.   ;)

EDIT EDIT:  Ok, I see that this gadget has been covered on the forum...flip a coin.  :grin:
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81RdBnnc3-L._SL1500_.jpg) (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EO1H3X8/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1)
Title: Re: Tornado Alert
Post by: vreihen on July 04, 2018, 01:39:18 PM
The Franklin AS3595 lightning detector chip in consumer lightning detectors like the Acu-Rite pictured above are better than nothing for safety at a baseball game (as shown in the photo), but useless as a scientific instrument.  The estimated distance to a strike is not any more precise than a 5-bar audio vue meter, and the chip's antenna is sensitive to horizontal versus vertical orientation.  One that I have here also has severely lost sensitivity over the past year.  On a t-storm yesterday, it reported one strike...whereas a new one mounted right next to it recorded 225+ strikes.....
Title: Re: Tornado Alert
Post by: Intheswamp on July 04, 2018, 02:24:58 PM
Meh, I guess I could get an old am radio and tune in between stations....  ;)
Title: Re: Tornado Alert
Post by: CW2274 on July 04, 2018, 03:50:52 PM
Back circa 1970 when everyone still used VHF/UHF antennas to watch TV, I was told if you tuned to a channel that wasn't used in your area (just static), you could see an approaching tornado. Even at 10 years of age, that was a lot to swallow.... :roll:
Title: Re: Tornado Alert
Post by: WeatherHost on July 04, 2018, 04:56:09 PM
^^^ 60s sometime while watching a black and white TV, there was a scene with a tow truck with the overhead lights flashing.  At one point I was absolutely convinced I saw the lights flash yellow.  It had to be some kind of illusion, maybe the way the room lights caught the glass of the TV screen at that point or something, but it sure was convincing.
Title: Re: Tornado Alert
Post by: n2qew on July 04, 2018, 07:41:51 PM
See the video at the link. Nine miles away, my butt. This was in the open, under better conditions than these will usually see. Not near cell phone, etc.

https://1drv.ms/f/s!Al2OT6PFWa6Ik0Sot9aUQ4RzAAFY
Title: Re: Tornado Alert
Post by: BeaverMeadow on July 04, 2018, 09:25:57 PM
^^^ 60s sometime-- a "device was sold to turn a b/w tv into a color tv. It was quite effective. We unrolled the transparent plastic film and put it onto the b/w screen. The top had a subtle blue tint, the center area was kind of brownish, and the lower part was, to the best of my recollection greenish. Made The Honeymooners "pop"!

Re: Acurite Lightning Detector-- not bad as a counter. Whenever a strong storm moved through here I got hits in the multi-hundreds range. It also indicated a coming electrical storm in so far as the number of hits would rise somewhat proportionally to the distance and intensity. Most of the time. But not always. And then there's when my neighbor is using his chainsaw.......
Title: Re: Tornado Alert
Post by: SLOweather on July 05, 2018, 08:45:49 AM
^^^ 60s sometime while watching a black and white TV, there was a scene with a tow truck with the overhead lights flashing.  At one point I was absolutely convinced I saw the lights flash yellow.  It had to be some kind of illusion, maybe the way the room lights caught the glass of the TV screen at that point or something, but it sure was convincing.

That could have been latency of the yellow phosphor in the mix that made the "white" in "black and white"  TV tubes. Try this sometime. Turn off a fluorescent light, look directly at it, and close your eyes. Turn the light on. Then, simultaneously, turn it off and open your eyes. Depending on the tube, you should see a yellow afterglow. It works best in the dark.

Fun fact. "White" LEDs are really blue or ultraviolet LEDs with a spot of white phosphor mix painted on the light emitting die.
Title: Re: Tornado Alert
Post by: Intheswamp on July 05, 2018, 09:17:34 AM
Back in the days of Dektol, stop-bath, and fixer, florescent lights were a no-no in a darkroom...they glowed after the switch was turned off.