SFERICSwatch
is a windows-program to analyze and display thunderstorm-activity in european Region.
Atmospheric interferences, also known as „SFERICS“, are caused by lightning of thunderstorms. These emit strong radio waves in the lower radio frequency band. With a sensitive recorder these SFERICS can be detected over a long distance range.
Europe`s primary lightning network consists of seven stations, unmanned automatic lightning sensors, at different locations in Europe. This allows a continuous registration of the lightning activity.
The commonly-available Britisch bulletin (SFUK) has a domain of 40W to 40E and 30N to 70N. SFERICSwatch uses a smaller sector in its maps, to better display SFERICS occurencies in Mid Europe. The time period for each bulletin is 30 minutes, and a new bulletin is generated every 30 minutes. The SFUK is based on the WMO FM 32-I SFLOC code form, but is adapted under a national variation. (WMO = World Meteorological Organisation) SFUK data are publically available from the Internet. SFERICSwatch downloads in adjusted period the two files SFUK30 and SFUK31.
  • SFUK30 contains data at every full hour.
  • SFUK31 contains data at full hour + 30 minutes.
In both files are location and intensity data of SFERICS encoded to the nearest half-degree, yielding a resulution of about 40 Km.
SFERICSwatch continuosly shows the lightning activity in Europe if the automatic download is activated by the user, and it can be put on the systray to run in background.
Additional functions of SFERICSwatch:
  • The display of the number of SFERICS strokes in a histogram.
  • The display of SFERICS location and intensity by filled circles and the magnitude of the circles respectively to the number of strokes. Colored changing rings display lightning strokes in the past time. It can be adjusted back to 6 hours.
  • Selection of a certain area to observe SFERICS activity by user input of koordinates.
  • Selection of a standard european map or a planetary map with more detailed representation of the Earth.
  • Selection of user defined colors for the different displays.
  • Numerical table of SFERICS frequency. This text file can also be imported by other software programs.
  • Automatic saving of the downloaded SFUK data, which later can be imported by the local file function to view archived data.
Important !
There is still a limitation of the program.
  • Only the screen resolutions of 1024 x 768 or 1280 x 1024 are supported !
This will be changed in a future version that can be downloaded for free.