Lightning sensor is underreporting

Hi! We get a lot of single lightning strike events in my area. My station is also fairly new (uptime of 24 days) and has not really had the chance to detect a lot of lightning. Today, there was a single strike about 5 km away from us. We did see the flash and heard the thunder, yet the tempest did not register. It detected another one earlier today, at 37-41 km so I believe the sensor works. There is no error message anywhere.

Is this normal for new stations or is something wrong?

There is some troubleshooting info at https://help.weatherflow.com/hc/en-us/articles/360050050673-Troubleshooting-Measurements-Data#h_01FRNCQV2FB9YQ8YHPCNAEZWNY . If this doesn’t help, is the lightning sensor in an OK status (or “Lightning Disturber” which may indicate that the Tempest is in “noisy” environment, but, the unit has recognized that and is compensating)? If the status shows a problem with the sensor, I would suggest contacting support. If you follow the instructions at Request to add your weather station share link in your profile , some folks here could try to ake a look and see if anything else is evident.

1 Like

I have read the troubleshooting info, but I can’t find an answer there. The hub is both online and has wifi so it should not be a problem. The lightning strike was also pretty close so the sensor should have detected it.

Yes, the sensor status is “OK” as you can see in the photo below:
image

Thank you for the reminder! This is the link to my station: Tempest

the sensor is not supposed to detect 100% of the strikes. So if you had a single missed strike, that is perfectly normal.
Also, I think but I’m not 100% sure, weatherflow might suppress lightning if none are expected, in an attempt to reduce false lightning events.
The detection efficiency of the sensor chip is between 20 and 45% for nearby strikes and less than 20% for strikes 40km away.
(different colors in the graph are for different sensor settings)

2 Likes

Huh, I thought that the detection efficiency was somewhat higher, but it does make sense now why it has missed a few single strikes.

Is there a way to choose which sensor setting I want, or to see which sensor setting my station is in currently?

no, we can’t see or change the setting, but judging from the fact that the unit is happy reporting lightning pretty far away, my guess would be that it is at it’s highest sensitivity.
For most thunderstorms the efficiency is not a problem, after all it isn’t much of a storm if it is only one strike.

2 Likes