New device unveiled to help predict lightning at Balloon Fiesta

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The City of Albuquerque unveiled a new tool Friday to keep people at Balloon Fiesta safe from lightning strikes.

It’s called the Thorguard Lightning Prediction system, and it’s here to do just that — alert people at Balloon Fiesta Park when lightning is on the way.

The $26,000 system looks at local weather systems to see the likelihood of lightning and can give up to a 15 minute warning.

Organizers hope this will make evacuating the Fiesta grounds smoother and ensure the safety of everyone there.

“That will give us more notice if we decide to evacuate the park, to get people to their cars and to the shelters because it is such a large park,” said Park Manager Susan Rice.

The system also has an alert app so employees can keep tabs on the weather.

There are three devices at the park, with two being on the ground.

The city said it will use the technology for more than 100 events throughout the year at Balloon Fiesta Park.

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