Lightning Detector (definition)

A lightning detector is a device that detects lightning produced by thunderstorms.

Personal lightning detectors are popular among golfers, campers, law enforcement, sports officials, and other persons who work or recreate outdoors.

Personal lightning detectors function by detecting the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) emitted by a lightning strike. By measuring the strength of the detected EMP, the device can then estimate how far away the detected strike was. When exposed to multiple detected strikes, some personal lightning detectors can even calculate and extrapolate the direction of the storm's movement relative to its position (approaching, departing, or stationary).

Read More about how lightning detectors work, purchase a lightning detector for your home, or return to the Weather Station Glossary of Terms