Millions of people who work or play outdoors might one day soon have a new tool to help them reduce the risk of being struck by lightning. Supported by a two-year research grant from NASA, scientists in the Earth System Science Center at UAH are combining data from weather satellites with Doppler radar and numerical models in a system that might warn which specific pop-up storm clouds are likely to produce lightning and when that lightning is likely to begin and end. &quot;One of our major goals is to increase the lead time that forecasters have for predicting which clouds are most likely to produce lightning and when lightning will start,&quot; said Dr. John Mecikalski, one of the project directors and an associate professor in UAH's Atmospheric Science Department. &quot;If we can combine data from satellites, radar and models into a single lightning forecast system, we can give the National Weather Service and other meteorologists a new tool to support forecasts.&quot; In addition to work done at UAH and NASA, the new lightning nowcasting project will use information developed by researchers at several institutions, Dr. Mecikalski said. &quot;A lot of the basic research in lightning prediction has been done, but weather service forecasters haven't been getting the benefit from that work. For instance, there are still very limited radar-based lightning forecast tools available to forecasters despite all the work that's been done in that field.&quot; While there is no operational lightning forecast system using radar, researchers using the existing Doppler weather radar system can get lightning predictions right about 90 percent of the time, he said, but can only give about a ten to 15 minute lead time.