Lightning damage? You're going to NEED this website

A viewer in the Kingwood area emailed me saying her roof had been struck by lightning during Imelda and the insurance adjuster needed some kind of proof that this happened (I know, that's a different argument).

I reached out to the National Weather Service who sent me a GREAT SITE that allows you to position the map wherever you need, put in your date/time you're looking for, and then wait a minute for the data to download. Then you'll see all the red and green + signs indicating positive (green) and negative (red) lightning strikes at the time!

Both are dangerous -- positively charged lightning starts at the top of the cloud and can travel farther while negatively charged lightning starts at the lower part of the cloud and tends to drop pretty much right below the storm.

I went to the site and zoomed in to Northeast Harris County from noon to 2 p.m. during Tropical Storm Imelda:

Obviously, that's a cluster mess but you can zoom in to your neighborhood for an even more accurate display:

I'm not an insurance adjuster but unless you are rolling video at an exact time and location to catch a strike on your roof, this may be the best "proof" you can get that your property experienced a lightning strike.

The site is used by the government to track lightning which causes wildfires and is instrumental to those forecasts. So it's as legitimate a site as you can get.

Here it is! Thank you, National Weather Service!


Speaking of lightning and thunderstorms, where's our big cold front to usher in fall as we know and love it?! Here's a teaser and it is the most hopeful yet -- a front arriving sometime early next week:

So we're in summer for THIS week, but there is a blue line at the end of the tunnel!!


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About the Author:

KPRC 2's chief meteorologist with three decades of experience forecasting Houston's weather.