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NOAA's new weather satellite shows lightning in real time from space

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The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) newest weather satellite shows lightning in real time from space. 

The new GOES-16 weather satellite is in practice mode until it's officially put in service this spring. NOAA, however, has been posting videos of what the satellite is capable of capturing. GOES-16 will give "NOAA National Weather Service forecasters richer information about lightning that will help them alert the public to dangerous weather," NOAA said in a release.

First Images from GOES-16 Lightning Mapper

WATCH  |  This video shows storms developing over southeast Texas on Feb. 14, 2017. What's even more amazing is the fact that the video is captured in real-time and isn't a timelapse.

This is the first lightning detector in geostationary orbit, NOAA said Monday. 

"The mapper continually looks for lightning flashes in the Western Hemisphere, so forecasters know when a storm is forming, intensifying and becoming more dangerous," NOAA noted in its press release. "Rapid increases of lightning are a signal that a storm is strengthening quickly and could produce severe weather."

The new mapper is also capable of detecting in-cloud lightning, which NOAA says often occurs "five to 10 minutes or more before potentially deadly cloud-to-ground strikes."

Scientists say this new technology could give forecasters more time to alert those who may be in danger and unaware of a developing threat. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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