Information Release



Contact:   Hugh Strawn




Date:   February 19, 2015  


Research Lightning Probability Forecast Data Faster and Easier

Address-Specific Information Easily Obtained on PLRB Map


PLRB Catastrophe Services has created a web page designed to more quickly and easily determine lightning probability at a specific address. This web page is specifically designed for PLRB member company adjusters who are researching lightning probability only.


PLRB Map zoomed into West, Texas, displaying the Lightning Probability Estimate from 10/26/2013


The same results can be obtained using PLRB Map also.  To perform an address specific lightning probability search from within PLRB Map, click on ADDRESS SEARCH and enter an address to zoom the map into your area of interest.  Then, click on PERIL HISTORY and enter the date(s) that you would like to search.  Click the LIGHTNING ESTIMATE checkbox and SEARCH. Finally, left click near your searched address and the highest lightning probabilities forecast for the day will be displayed.

Lightning Probability Forecasts from NWS


The Meteorological Development Lab of the National Weather Service produces a Lightning Probability Forecast every hour.  Catastrophe Services archives these forecast charts and makes them available to member companies and affiliates, searchable by date range.


The Lightning Probability Forecast utilizes NEXRAD radar data and applies a complex algorithm to model the probability of one or more cloud to ground lightning strikes.  The data is then overlaid on a map of the continental United States and depicts areas of 1 percent to 99 percent probability of lightning over the next two hours.  This is different than an actual lightning strike report obtained from a third party vendor.  A lightning strike report is an address specific report which details the number and intensity of nearby lightning strikes as recorded by the vendor’s private network of lightning detection equipment.

NWS Lightning Probability Forecast from 10/26/2013


As shown above, Catastrophe Services takes the Lightning Probability charts one step further and captures the georegistered probability areas and makes these shapefiles available for members to display in PLRB Map which enables claims departments to perform address specific searches to determine whether a claimant was in an area with a high probability of lightning on a given day.




For further information on using the PLRB Map, please contact Andrew Louchios, Geologist / Geospatial Specialist, at or 630-724-2233.


The Property & Liability Resource Bureau is a not-for-profit association of property and casualty insurance companies.  It is located in Downers Grove, Illinois.