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  National Radar Summary,
courtesy of WxPortal from SSESCO, Inc.

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National GOES Infrared Satellite Image, courtesty of WxPortal from SSESCO, Inc.

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Lightning map,
courtesy of Vaisala Lightning Explorer
Radar: The national radar composite shows areas of precipitation, ranging from very light (blue) to intense (yellow to reds). Satellite: This is an infrared (heat) image of the clouds over the U.S. The higher the cloud top, the colder it is. The coldest clouds in this display are the darkest blue. Reddish areas usually represent clear skies. Lightning: This is a 30 minute summary of lightning cloud-to-ground flashes (both positive and negative polarity) over the United States from the National Lightning Detection Network.

Where To Look:

Only visible at night. Where is lightning reported, check for large storms, generally (much) bigger than the State of Rhode Island that have very cold (deep blue) cloud tops in the satellite imagery. The sprites are most likely to occur behind the intense leading edge of the storm (yellow to red radar), in the blue/green/some yellow "stratiform" precipitation regions associated with many large thunderstorm systems. Sprites are best seen above storms east of the Rockies, but summer storms in northwestern Mexico produce great sprites visible from Arizona and parts of New Mexico. Sprites may also occur above winter thunderstorms over the Gulf Stream. With clear local skies and good visibility, sprites can be seen above storms up to 200-250 miles away. The very brightest may be captured by video cameras set

Blue Jets:
The classic blue jet is visible only at night. They can occur above the very large thunderstorms which also make sprites, but they are also possible above much smaller but intense thunderstorms perhaps only 10 to 20 miles across. Normally you will have to be within 100 miles of the storm to see them. They may also occur above night time thunderstorms over the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coastal waters.

Upward Lightning:

Visible day and night. Very rare, but if they occur, there are sometimes a dozen or more at intervals of a few minutes. Set up a film camera for time exposures or let a video camera run.. These are most likely to occur over small (10-20 miles across) but very intense, rapidly growing, even severe, thunderstorms, often within the first 30 minutes of storm development. They may also occur above night time thunderstorms over the Gulf and Atlantic coastal waters.

Where are the sprites tonight?

Happy hunting.