Can the current lightning sensor gather general direction as well as distance? In many locations there is a general direction of storms and often the storms will be individual cells instead of a line. Knowing that there is lightning 20 miles away and NW is completely different than 20 miles WSW. In addition if the sensor detects a strike 20 miles away and then five minutes later 15 miles away is it the same cell that might be heading your way or a completely different cell just firing up? Distance with direction gives a quick overview of what is developing. It still means at some point that I will open up radar for a better view of what is happening. I consider strikes and direction to be a very helpful early warning tool.
Unfortunately it cannot measure the direction by itself. You need some very precise timing (like gps based) and special electronics to measure the exact time of a strike arriving at your station. Combining these precise measurements from one station with other stations could determine the position. Look at map.blitzortung.org for the results of a citizens project doing exactly that.
The sensor in the tempest is still a special sensor, but basically is just an old AM radio, and listens to the interference caused by the lightning. It can determine the distance, but not the direction. The timing of this sensor is not precise enough.
I immediately use the map feature to find the other Tempests around me. I see their distance and can figure out a general direction
for a single strike that is more or less possible if you have at least 3, but for a thunderstorm that is nearly impossible. Instead of looking up other tempest data, you are better of with looking at map.blitzortung.org or something equivalent. much faster, much more accurate.