[App] Filter radius for lightning strike alerts

I wish the lightning alerts could have a custom alert radius. Currently, I receive alerts for lightning up to 30 or 40 miles away. I rarely ever drive that far away from my home. I’d change my settings to only alerts for strikes less than 5 miles away.

Last week, we had a storm and my alerts we’re positively blown up from the dozens and dozens of strikes that happened within the default radius, but nowhere I even knew there was lightning happening.

For now, I’ve just disabled lightning alerts.

I also have disabled lightning alerts. I don’t mind seeing the lightning strikes that are 30 or 40 miles away, but there are too many alerts. There needs to be some way to limit the number of alerts. I don’t really need to know every time there is a lightning strike. Does it currently group the lightning strikes? If so then maybe the time frame could be adjustable, so that you would get fewer alerts.

it reports a new strike whenever it is closer than the previously reported strike, or half a hour has past after the last reported strike.
Because the lightning reporting got more precise (in 15 distance ranges, instead of 4 or 5 as it used to be) you possibly get more strikes reported. I don’t mind if it reports a few (say 3) to tell you the storm is getting closer but the current implementation isn’t very practical.
They should divide them into ranges like 0-10km, 10-20 km and 20+ km and report the first strike and report the next ones only if it is a more nearby distance range. This will give at most 3 reports per storm. The half hour rule should change that a strike is reported not half an hour after the last reported strike but half an hour after the last detected strike.
Note that the graphs still should show the detailed 15 distance intervals, only the alerts should be binned together.

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I agree completely on setting a lower limit trigger level for the lightning alerts. I had 26 strikes yesterday from my new unit. It’s out in the field several hundred feet away from any electrical that might be generating false data. But thats too many. I was outside and only heard one rumble…

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I to would like to have the ability to lower the lighting radius closer to my location… Is this being looked into?

I also would like to be able to set a smaller area for lightning alerts. Here in north Georgia, we get lots of pop up storms and I am constantly getting alerts. Most will never affect me.

Completely agree, but maybe break out the closer rings a little more. 0-2 miles, 2-5 miles, 5-10 miles, 10-15 miles, 15-20 miles, 20-30 miles, greater than 30 miles with a 30 min snooze. That way, you can quickly tell if the storm is approaching you and how quickly.

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Hey everyone! Thanks for taking the time to share more information on how lightning alerts can be improved.

We have been discussing the alerts feature and would like to share one of our proposals to get your feedback. Below are screenshots of a prototype of the modified alert options. Please disregard the style and coloring and focus more on the options presented.

With these proposed updates:

  • Users can disable lightning notifications (just like now)
  • Users can set a distance threshold to limit the lightning strike notifications to a range
  • Users can set a frequency setting. With the default frequency, selected users will receive an alert if it has been more than 30 minutes since your station last received a strike OR if the most recent strike is closer than the previous one. Selecting a different frequency ensures that you will only receive one lightning alert during that time, even if a closer strike happens during the same time window. Further, to trigger another lightning alert after your frequency time has expired, the lightning strike must be closer than the previous strike that triggered the alert.

We feel these options will satisfy the user that wants to get a notification for each closer strike, but will also allow other users to limit the number of lightning notifications in ways that work best for them.


I think it would be a lot better if the time setting was used for the time after the last detected strike, not the last reported strike. If the time is set to for example 15 minutes, and you are in the middle of a big storm, it is no use to send a notification again after 15 minutes. If you start these 15 minutes after the last detected strike, there will be no notifications unless the new strike is closer than the last notified one.

Also because you now fill in strikes from other sources, I get the strong feeling that distances have a pretty high resolution. Let’s assume it is 1 km. That means that for a single storm you can get up to 40 alarms (one for each kilometer). And with your current definition of frequency, you would possible get that again 30 minutes later. That is a flood of notifications nobody is waiting for.

So yes your first two bullet points are nice, but the third one could be a lot better as it basically the same as it currently is, but with a different timeout.

I propose to define a few distance ranges, like 0-5 km, 5-10, 10-20, 20-40+ km. You send a notification if the new strike is in one of the closer ranges compared to the previously reported strike, or the given time (frequency) has past since the last detected strike (not the last notified strike)
That way you get at most 4 notifications per storm.
Wouldn’t that be a lot better??

Admittedly reducing range (bullet point 2) and frequency limit the amount of notifications somewhat, but only at the expense of loosing otherwise useful input. (if you set frequency to 3 hours and range to 10 km, you still might get 10 notifications, but you won’t get a warning if a new storm is approaching in the next 3 hours, nor will you get long distance warnings… all just because you don’t want to be flooded with notifications (and 10 notifications is still a lot))

I like it. Personally I’d like a 5 minutes being that I’m in Colorado.

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I might be missing something here, but how long does this effect last? For example, say a storm passes over head and the last alert received is for a strike 10 km out. If a week later a storm passes close by (but not overhead), would you get an alert for a 20 km strike (assuming the distance threshold is set sufficiently far out)? By my reading you wouldn’t, because although the frequency time has expired, the next strike is not closer than the last.

no, it is basically just the same rules that currently are in place, you will get your warning. Corrine wrote in caps a big OR, so after 30 minutes you will get a warning (and possibly many more that are reported closer than the previous one)

Sorry, I should have said that I was discussing a use case when the user has changed the frequency setting away from the default. In this case it seems that:

And once the frequency time limit has expired, you will only get another notification if a lightning strike is closer than the previous one:

So it appears to me that there needs to be a time limit on this, as otherwise a very close lightning strike will stop you being alerted to many others that are further away.

changing the frequency as Corrine called it, doesn’t effect the mechanism much. The mechanisme described is the current implemented mechanism (just with a customizable timeout and max range) The idea is that you get a warning for a storm in range, so you can prepare yourself and get a few (currently possibly a lot) of extra warnings if the storm keeps approaching. Once you have a nearby strike, there is no need for notification for other strikes, is there? Anyway the timelimit you want is the timelimit that Corrine is talking about. After the time is passed, you will get a warning for the next strike (independently of the distance) and you will get all the notifications for strikes that are closer.
Problem with that is that it might be exactly the same storm you are still experiencing, these extra notifications also don’t signal an approaching storm. In fact the storm might be going away from you, but still produce some strikes that are closer than the previous reported strike.
In my opinion that time-out shouldn’t start after the last reported strike, but after the last detected strike, so this flood of notification doesn’t happen twice for the same storm.