Forecast From The Palm of Your Hand

March 2006 News

Storm safety experts Spectrum Electronics announce the release of their professional-grade handheld storm detector to the general public. The ThunderBolt Storm Detector is a powerful weather information device that removes the guesswork from storm safety. This proven technology is already in use in various settings including schools, municipalities, the armed forces and industrial plants, to provide lightning protection.

Spectrum Electronics, dedicated to developing storm detection technology, including ThunderBolt and patented VorTrackT Tornado Detection, is committed to educating the public about storm safety. The most dangerous myth about thunderstorms is the belief that a storm can be judged by sight or sound and there is time to seek shelter after it arrives. However, by the time a thunderstorm can be seen or heard, the time to reach safety may have passed by as much as 30 minutes. The ThunderBolt Storm Detector provides real-time information so the user can seek shelter before the danger of lightning strikes.

"Lightning can kill from a storm eight miles away with possibly no visible or audible warning," said Edward Shaver, president of Spectrum Electronics, creator of the ThunderBolt Storm Detector. "It is typical for 60 percent of the lightning injuries and fatalities to occur each year with clear blue skies overhead." There are 200 deaths and over 1,000 serious injuries caused by thunderstorms confirmed each year, but due to inaccuracies in the medical reporting process, lightning-related deaths and injuries each year may be as much as 5,000.* Over 30 percent of all lightning victims are struck before a storm arrives and 60 percent are struck after a storm has passed. Knowing when a storm is in the range of danger and when it has safely cleared the area is vital to providing lightning protection to the user.

The ThunderBolt is a handheld storm detector capable of providing lightning protection by detecting thunderstorm activity from as far as 75 miles away. Once a storm is detected, it calculates the actual distance in miles and displays warning information on an easy-to-read LCD display. The ThunderBolt then continuously monitors the storm and provides 15-second updates on the distance, approach speed, intensity, and Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) to the user's exact location. It also provides the Estimated Time to Clear (ETC), which informs the user when it is safe to resume outdoor activity after the storm has cleared an eight-mile range. Flashing lights and an audible alarm provide warnings in a variety of operating environments.

While television, radio and Internet weather reports-usually using the Doppler Weather Radar system-provide useful information, they do have limitations. The data from the main media outlets can be as much as 15 to 20 minutes old, which is critical time for storm safety. These reports also cover such a wide area that information may not be relevant to the user's location. Most notably, weather reports are typically inaccessible to the very people who need lightning protection the most: those at work or play outdoors. The personal ThunderBolt Storm Detector puts storm safety right in the hands of the user.

There are many applications for the ThunderBolt Storm Detector including government workers, parks and recreation, utilities, construction workers, mining companies, theme and amusement parks, golf courses, youth sports, boaters, campers and hikers. It can be used outdoors and in most indoor locations.

About Spectrum Electronics, creators of
ThunderBolt Storm Detector

There are currently two models of ThunderBolt, a utility model and personal model, with a military model to be introduced by the end of 2005. During the first quarter of 2006, Spectrum Electronics will introduce ThunderBolt Storm Beacon, a fixed-based outdoor unit designed to protect outdoor public areas, such as schools, parks and recreation facilities, hotels and resorts, office buildings and industrial plants.

Spectrum Electronics has developed an educational website about lightning protection and storm safety at The site also provides detailed information about ThunderBolt Storm Detector, including technology information, current user list, product specifications, and user manuals and purchasing information. A free educational CD is available by request.

For more information, call Tracy Ross at 1-877-738-7330 or visit us at

* Source: Lightning Injury Facts, 1995, Mary Ann Cooper, MD

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