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Posts Tagged ‘lightning’

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Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 10.41.13 AMWhen last week we reported on NOAA’s new Geostationary Lightning Mapper and it’s potential for helping sailors, we ignored one of the great tools already out there for real-time lightning strike mapping.  Thanks to about a dozen Anarchists, here’s the link to, where you’ll find real-time worldwide lightning mapping, historical data, and all sorts of other cool tools for those looking to chase or avoid storms.


March 10th, 2017 by admin

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We’re not sure whether the new Geostationary Lightning Mapper (GLM) will ever be able to give boat owners real-time warnings when their masts are at risk, but as you can see in the NOAA video posted today, the capability ain’t far off. From the excellent NOAASatellites Youtube channel:

Lightning observed by the GLM illuminates the storms developing over southeast Texas on the morning of February 14, 2017, in this animation of GLM lightning events overlaid on Advanced Baseline Imager (ABI) cloud imagery. Frequent lightning is occurring with the convective cells embedded in this severe weather system. The green cross indicates the location of Houston, and green dotted lines indicate the Texas coastline. This animation, rendered at 25 frames per second, simulates what your eye might see from above the clouds. GLM perceives the scene at 500 frames per second, and can distinguish the location, intensity and horizontal propagation of individual strokes within each lightning flash. Monitoring the flash rate from convective cells and their extent can help forecasters improve tornado and severe weather forecasts and warnings and their impending threat to the public. At the time of this animation, the storm cell in the center of the frame was reported by the NWS to have spawned one of a number of tornadoes and damaging winds spawned by the storm complex.


March 6th, 2017 by admin

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World class sailing photog Sander Van Der Borch took a month off from his busy schedule for a cruise with his family, and like most people who live their passion, he just can’t stop working.  Sander had the camera ready when a summer squall came overhead, and grabbed one of the prettiest sailing/lightning shots we’ve ever seen.  Time for new desktop background…

August 17th, 2015 by admin

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Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 12.04.31 AMProps to the Bill Faude and the US Lightning Class’s A-Sail experimentation; they Class is trying to determine what its future holds ‘while the class is strong…not when we are in crisis and then react to save ourselves.’

Here’s a report from Faude, posting in the thread on Assymetric Lightnings.

We had fun starting this evaluation this weekend. Overall, the objective is very simple:

Try to figure out if adding some area to the kite and looking at a couple of A-symmetrical alternatives would possibly make sailing the Lightning more fun. That’s what we’re in business to do. Have fun.  Keeping the design contemporary is a big part of that.

The boat weighs 700 pounds. It also planes brilliantly on half its bottom with it’s 76-year-old trendy hard chines. At speed it is solid as a rock, powerful and safe. One interesting challenge we face is that we primarily sail sausages and we most often find ourselves displacing. There are people who have been in the class 5+ years who are in positions to win major events, who have not explored this part of the design. And that’s too bad. Most importantly, there are people we would like to have in our tribe who haven’t see the boat blasting over the top of waves at speed.

So we’re experimenting. We’re beginning to evaluate. Can we make a change that significant? Almost certainly not until enough of our members experience the ride and come off the water grinning that they say, “I gotta have that!” We’re an association of equals. There are a lot of us and we all love the boat. So we’re not going to move until there is plenty of information out there.

There is one neat story to tell though that might be fun. After sailing yesterday, one of our teen-aged members came off the water and went home and edited this video. Please keep in mind that this footage was taken in 11 knots. I’m just speculating here but I doubt that there has been a time in our recent history when a 17-year-old raced home to edit a video because he was PSYCHED about sailing the Lightning downwind in 11 knots. Happy to discuss further. Stand by.

To our fellow beloved square boaters: to quote Aaron Rogers…”Relax.”

This is going to be better, or we’re not going to vote for it. 


February 1st, 2015 by admin

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Screen Shot 2014-05-13 at 3.54.34 PMIt’s lightning season, folks – and sometimes, nature just doesn’t like you.  This cruising cat took a direct strike at the masthead and immediately went up; there was no hope for the Puerto Del Rey (Puerto Rico) multihull.  Thanks to Jaime Torres for the news; this is a screen grab from the Facebook video posted here.

May 13th, 2014 by admin