No thunder weather despite lightning: special lightning protection concept prevents weather stations from falling victim to the weather
An entire network of weather stations is in use throughout Germany so that we know today what the weather will be like tomorrow. The sensors collect their data, especially on mountain peaks, despite wind, rain and snow. This becomes problematic during thunderstorms, because the sensors in this exposed position attract lightning – and they are much more common from a height of 1,000 meters. In order to protect the sensitive devices of his latest project on the Wendelstein, Germany’s leading equipment for weather stations, Thies Clima, therefore resorted to special lightning and surge protection. The Echterdinger Leutron GmbH concept is based on the bundling of security measures at a central point and has already proven itself in other locations prone to lightning.
“We heard during the planning stage that the Wendelstein often flashes,” says graduate engineer Stefan Helten from Thies Clima. The 1,838 meter high mountain in the Bavarian Alps protrudes far from the surrounding mountain range and is therefore the preferred destination for thunderstorms, which arise here from the collision of warm air from the south with cooler north winds. The ideal position for a weather station, which is why weather observations have been made on the Wendelstein since 1804 and the German Weather Service has had its own weather station on the summit since 1957. However, the location in the middle of the storm fronts is rather unfavorable for the highly sensitive measuring systems that are to collect data for a research institute at the newly built station.