StormVueNGX Help


Date and time
- Shows your local date and time.

Strikes - The Strikes counter shows how many strikes are detected per minute. The system is capable of detecting up to 3,000 strikes per second. This counter will display different counts depending on which display mode is selected..


Lightning Statistics XX min - The time value displayed will reflect the user's setting in the Strike Age section. The system will default to the past 60 minutes and the statistics displayed are based on the time value from the past 5 minutes to the past 60 minutes in 5 min increments.

Strike Types

+CG  Positive polarity cloud to ground strike
-CG  Negative polarity cloud to ground strike
±IC   Intra-cloud strike, any polarity

Strike Rate Graph - The Strike Rate Graph visualizes the trend for the currently selected time frame. The strikes are categorized and display as three colored lines representing the strike type.     

Percent     The percentage of total detected strikes for a specific strike category and the currently selected time frame.
Totals     Shows how many strikes in each category that has been detected for the currently selected time frame.
Trends     Trend arrows indicate how the strike rate trend is changing over time. If the strike rate for a particular category is increasing then the arrow will point upwards, if it is decreasing then downwards. If there is no significant change in the strike rate then the arrow will point right.
Change     This is the trend change in percentage for the currently selected time frame.      


Display mode - An indicator showing the currently selected mode. To change mode use the Declutter button. The available modes are; Level 0: Unfiltered, Level 1: Clusters, Level 2: Cloud-Ground, Level 3: Cloud to Ground Clusters, Level 4: Density (*LDP See Note below), Level 5: Storm Cells

*LDP mode (Lightning Density Plot) NexStorm will replace the normal plotting of strikes on the map with contour-filled areas derived from strike density. The LDP feature renders a radar-like image and is an excellent tool for determining where the most intense lightning activity is currently located.

LDP logic is based on a cell grid covering the full range map area. Once a predefined number of strikes fall into a cell, it will become active and included in the contouring process. LDP will contour adjacent cells and color the resulting area based on the density plot settings. Areas with a less aggregation of strikes are colored first and the densest aggregation areas last which will produce a contour-filled cell.


User options panel contains three buttons that will open various windows when clicked.

 
The Report button opens the current TRAC (Thunderstorm Ranging and ACquisition) report which is generated by NexStorm. This is a text only report containing detailed statistics about each thunderstorm that is currently being tracked.This is also the same report that shows at the top of the main window (for Browsers that support Marquees).


The Alarm button opens the Lightning Alarm settings window which enables you to set up your own criteria based alarm. The alarm allows you to configure a circular detection area centered on a Lat/Lon value and a radius entered in miles. The app will now monitor all lightning activity within the area defined and when detected, will trigger the alarm function. To limit detection in the defined area to storm cells only (structured storm cells as determined by the app), place a check in the "Trigger on storm cells only". To enable the alarm function, place a check in "Enable alarm" checkbox. The set button will apply the current settings. To configure the alarm, perform the Following steps:
1. Determine the location you wish to monitor and enter the Latitude and Longitude in Degrees.DecimalDegrees - Don't forget the minus sign (-) before the Longitude value. You can enter up to 6 decimal places. The location can be anywhere within our covered range which is approximately 375 miles. For help in locating Latitude and Longitude, here is a site where you can find it on a map - Find Latitude and Longitude
2. Enter the Range in miles (this is the radius of the area from the location entered in step 1). Due to the unpredictable nature of lightning and as is does not necessary travel straight down, I suggest a range of 15 mile or greater. Even if the system is dead on accurate, a small radius watch area might not detect any lightning and then a rogue lightning bolt from a storm system miles away could occur and strike in the area defined with no advanced warning of lightning.
3. If you want the system to detect any lightning in the defined area, leave the "Trigger on storm cells only blank. If you want the system to only alarm on organized storm cells only, the place a check in the box.
4. Place a check in the "Enable alarm" box to activate the alarm function.
5. Click the "Set" button to apply and save the current settings. The Lightning Alarm settings will be stored in your browser's cache and will be available the next time you browse to the page. To change any settings, simply make your change and click the set button again. The alarm should operate as long as the page is not closed and should continue to function even if minimized or hidden by other windows. To turn off the alarm sound without losing settings, remove the check from the Enable alarm box and click the "Set" button to save.

Status window displays information about the  software, hardware and antenna alignment, the location of the detector, native size of the display panel and the date and time (user's local time) of last data update. There are 2 check boxes for user selectable options; Enable user interface sounds - enables a system sound as a confirmation of selections and options. The Enable strike click sounds provides a system sound corresponding to lightning detection events by the system.


The Map Control panel provides 3 user selectable options to select various map views.
Strike Age - The system defaults to and has a maximum display time of the past 60 minutes. By using the triangle buttons, the map can be configured to restrict the display of storm activity for various amounts of time in 5 minute intervals. The setting here will also modify other data displayed such as the total number of strikes.
Map Zoom -  The map zoom is comtrolled here and can currently be set from a 31 mile radius to a maximum of a 375 mile radius. Some info panels values will be based on the current map zoom.
Declutter - There are 6 different levels available for the Declutter mode - The available modes are; Level 0: Unfiltered, Level 1: Clusters, Level 2: Cloud-Ground, Level 3: Cloud to Ground Clusters, Level 4: Density (*LDP See Note below), Level 5: Storm Cells

*LDP mode (Lightning Density Plot) NexStorm will replace the normal plotting of strikes on the map with contour-filled areas derived from strike density. The LDP feature renders a radar-like image and is an excellent tool for determining where the most intense lightning activity is currently located.

LDP logic is based on a cell grid covering the full range map area. Once a predefined number of strikes fall into a cell, it will become active and included in the contouring process. LDP will contour adjacent cells and color the resulting area based on the density plot settings. Areas with a less aggregation of strikes are colored first and the densest aggregation areas last which will produce a contour-filled cell.


Replay control - The control enables you to replay the last 60 minutes of lightning data with rewind, stop, play and pause controls. To return to Live Storm display, click the Stop button. Replay is not available in Declutter mode 5 - Storm Cells

Network - The Network panel displays the status of network communications between StormVue NGX (the Adobe Flash Web app on our website) and the computer at our lab where our Storm Detector hardware is installed.

RX R/T consists of two indicators. The first indicator will flash briefly in blue color when StormVue NGX attempts to read data from the server. If there is an error the second indicator will indicate this by turning red for approximately one second. Occasional errors are normal but frequent errors could indicate a problem on the server or with your Internet connection.

Stale time shows the time in seconds since the last data update. The data from a special directional antenna is received by our lightning detection hardware connected to our computer equipment. The circuitry in the receiver is capable of detecting up to 3,000 strikes per second. The software then calculates the bearing, distance and the type and polarity of the strike. Algorithms in the software then look at these strikes in comparison to others and can then group them into various structured storm cells. All this happens in real time and the data is displayed on our console here and at the same time is uploaded to our web server where it is then accessible to Storm Tracker. Although it is not unusual for there to be a 10 second delay from the time new data is detected here to the time it is displayed on your browser, a more typical time is about 2.5 - 3 seconds if you have a good Internet connection. If Stale time exceeds 300 seconds (5 minutes) this indicator will instead show "OFFLINE", indicating that there is no ongoing data feed.


 

Strike Symbol Legend and Strike Density Mapping panels are there to help you interpret the information displayed on the map. Different legends will be shown depending on which display mode the user has selected.
In StormTracker mode, CG is an abbreviation for Cloud to ground strike while IC means Intracloud strike. The sign prefix denotes strike polarities. "Unk" are strikes of unknown type.
If Density display mode is selected (Declutter level 4) then a color bar representing the varying density colors ranging from low to high will be shown instead.