In both 2016 and 2018, Lockheed Martin launched one next-generation weather tracking satellite—known as GOES, or Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites—capable of detecting almost every bolt of lightning in the Western Hemisphere. Two more of these 6,000-pound satellites will be launched in 2021 and 2024. With all four in place, they’ll be able to monitor electrical activity in the atmosphere—and the data they amass will help to power NASA and NOAA’s weather forecasting models. The information provided by the $10.8 billion fleet could then enhance our understanding of and preparation for super-storms. Read more at Wired, where you can see photographer Christopher Payne’s exclusive imagery.
Super-Storm Early Warnings From Four Extreme Weather-Tracking Satellites