The Professional Lightning Assistant (PLA) from WeatherSTEM is designed to alert schools, universities, emergency medical services, and other organizations with safety concerns of potentially dangerous weather conditions. It is a state-of-the-art lightning detection system that integrates precise and accurate lightning data from The Weather Company, an IBM Business, to notify users when lightning occurs within an identified perimeter.
The Partnership with The Weather Company, an IBM Business provides WeatherSTEM with access to real-time lightning data from high quality lightning sensors positioned all across North America. This data is constantly fed into the PLA and allows users to create their own lightning notification rules without needing hardware.
“By leveraging real-time lightning data from The Weather Company, one of the world’s largest private weather enterprises, we are able to provide our customers best-in-class lightning data. The lightning data integrates seamlessly with our software-based solution, which minimizes costs since there is no hardware installation required.” said Edward Mansouri, WeatherSTEM CEO and Founder.
The lightning detection system has been piloted by several schools and universities, including Monroe County in Florida. Monroe County, like other parts of Florida, experiences a significantly higher amount of lightning than other regions in the United States.
“Our schools are scattered across a 120-mile stretch of Florida that receives a lot of lightning on an almost daily basis,” said Michael Michaud, Director of Safety for Monroe County. “It is important for the safety of our students and staff that we track weather conditions in real time each day. The PLA has been a valuable tool in helping us monitor conditions, send out alerts in a timely manner and make decisions about when to keep people inside.”
PLA is fully cloud-based; no equipment is needed. Messages from the system can be sent to mobile devices and e-mail accounts, as well as industrial equipment. Additionally, alerts can also communicate when the lightning threat has passed.
“The Weather Company gathers data from an estimated 8.6 million lightning strikes globally each day, and systems like the PLA are designed to allow users to be prepared with precise forecasts and accurate notifications when danger is near,” said Mark D. Miller, Vice President and Global Sales Leader at The Weather Company, an IBM Business. “Access to highly accurate and precise lightning data can be invaluable in areas like South Florida where there can be periods with daily thunderstorms or severe weather events.”