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Helsinki, Finland - April 8, 2013 - Vaisala is celebrating the 30-year anniversary of the U.S. National Lightning Detection Network® (NLDN), the most accurate, reliable and scientifically validated lightning detection network in the United States. Since the first lightning location data was recorded on June 1, 1983 the NLDN has contributed 30 years of lightning data, improving meteorological forecasting of storm activity; protecting critical power, utility and communications infrastructure from lightning damage; and enabling issuing safety warnings and educating the public about the dangers of lightning.

Throughout the NLDN's 30-year history, Vaisala has continued to develop the technology further, making a number of upgrades to improve the network's detection efficiency, location accuracy and overall performance. The data collected by the NLDN has helped advance meteorological and scientific understanding of lightning and severe storms, and agencies such as the National Weather Service, major utility companies, and many airports have come to rely on the accuracy of the data and the reliability of the network.

"The NLDN has a unique history, from its early development where researchers and agencies partnered together to create the first lightning networks, to the advancements in lightning data applications, to today where Vaisala's NLDN is the most accurate, validated and innovative lightning detection network in the U.S.," says Melanie Scott, Meteorologist in Vaisala.

"We're very proud of this history and excited about the anniversary, because it gives us the opportunity to share the story about how the NLDN began, how lightning information has improved our lives, and the ongoing research, validation and technological advancements still being made today."

The celebration will conclude in June with an announcement of top five NLDN achievements, made possible through the innovations, technological advancements, dedicated individuals and organizations who envisioned the benefits of a national lightning detection network for our safety and protection of assets.

More information
Melanie Scott, Vaisala Inc.
Tel.  +1 314 872 0530,

About Vaisala
Vaisala is a global leader in environmental and industrial measurement. Building on 75 years of experience, Vaisala contributes to a better quality of life by providing a comprehensive range of innovative observation and measurement products and services for chosen weather-related and industrial markets. Headquartered in Finland, Vaisala employs approximately 1400 professionals worldwide and is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki stock exchange.

Information for editors:
Lightning is extremely dangerous and in many cases injuries and deaths occur when people are enjoying recreational activities.  In 2012, nearly 30 people in the U.S. lost their lives after being struck by lightning.  Lightning damage is also costly; on average 30% of all power outages annually are lightning-related, with total costs approaching $1 billion dollars. 

The first lightning location data recorded and archived by the NLDN took place on June 1, 1983.  At that time, the NLDN was a regional network, operated by State University of New York at Albany (SUNYA), but within seven years it expanded to cover the entire continental U.S.  The expansion was due to the efforts of the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), which funded a portion of the expansion, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Severe Storms Laboratory, and scientists at the University of Arizona and SUNYA.

To learn more about the NLDN, visit to explore an interactive timeline and map that introduce the network's history. The site also included lightning statistics, and lightning maps for well-known weather events.