Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!
  • Students Click Here

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here


Probability of Lightning Strike

Probability of Lightning Strike

Probability of Lightning Strike

I have a facility that appears to have damage that could be from a lightning strike. I have data from the local weather office that shows 11 lightning strikes in the area giving both latitude and longitude. None of them are exactly on my location, but a couple of them are quite close. I would like to determine the probability that the location provided in the data report could be my location.

According to an IEEE paper, “[t]he random errors in the direction measurements plus any residual site errors in the direction measurements plus any residual site errors have a standard deviation of about 0.9º. (IEEE, Cummins et al, “The U.S. National Lightning Detection NetworkTM and Applications of Cloud-to-Ground Lightning Data by Electric Power Utilities”, November 1998).

So now that I have the standard deviation can I predict the probability that the measured lightning strike could actually be the one at my location? Can I safely assume a normal distribution? Should I figure out the probabilities for each latitude and longitude coordinate separately and then multiply them out?

Any help is appreciated! Probabilities was never one of my strong suits.


RE: Probability of Lightning Strike

If they are quoting standard deviations they have already assumed normality. No, don't separate lat and long, use distance, by pythagoras.

Incidentally do you realise how enormous 0.9 degrees is?


Greg Locock

New here? Try reading these, they might help FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies http://eng-tips.com/market.cfm?

RE: Probability of Lightning Strike

Thanks Greg!

I figure 0.9 degrees is about 100 km which does seem rather large, and does seem to call all of the location data into question. However, upon further review, that was just one measuring device, and they have an algorithm that narrows that accuracy down. However, they didn't give the algorithms standard deviation which is too bad.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members!


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close