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Thunderbolt Pro – long range storm detector


The Thunderbolt Pro promises to detect on-coming thunderstorms up to 75 miles away. Colour me amazed, since our weather service couldn’t even predict the recent onslaught of enough rain to drown a Blue Whale. Anyhoo, the device works by detecting the lightning strikes that come with storms, so you’re kind of out of luck if your particular downpour isn’t that electrical. The fun bit is the flashing red LED and audible alarms and the series of up to 50 increasingly terrified text messages (“Quick, round up some animals and an ark”). $429.95.

 The detector uses a highly-sensitive ferrite antenna that detects the low-frequency radio signals, or sferics, emitted by lightning as they travel through the earths ionosphere. Its built-in m icroprocessor and software analyzes the waveform and voltage the antenna detects to tell you how far away a lightning strike was, which indicates the presence of approaching storm cells and squall lines, and provides you with storm approach speed, estimated time of arrival, distance, and more. The detector also performs continuous analysis of background electromagnetic signals at its location in order to differentiate between storm/non-storm sources.

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