A small German group called Blitzortung has developed a crowd-sourced map that shows real-time lightning strikes around the world.
The maps are driven by a network of volunteers who have set up a $275 detection kit consisting of an antenna system, amplifier, and controller. Each station can detect radio signals from a lightning strike and transmit the exact time and location to the Blitzortung servers. Remarkably, the detection stations don't have to be close to the lightning strike; a receiving station, say in New York, can still pick up lightning strikes in the Caribbean (low frequency RF waves can travel thousands of miles).
The realtime maps display five main global regions (Europe, Oceania, North America, Asia, and South America), and six local regions (Texas, Florida, New York, Minnesota, California, and the Dominican Republic).
The aim of the project is to establish a low budget lightning location network with a high number of stations. Go here if you're interested in covering your area.
Check it out here.
[ h/t Engadget ]