FunNature & AnimalLightning travels 768 kilometers, breaking a world record

Lightning travels 768 kilometers, breaking a world record

The longest lightning strike in the world lasted 8.5 seconds and stretched more than 760 kilometers through the skies of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, in the United States, setting a new world record compared to the previous one.

The colossal lightning bolt is already the longest ever recorded. It began near the town of Wiggins in Mississippi on April 29, 2020, and streaked across the skies over Louisiana and Texas toward Freeport on the Gulf of Mexico , ziggagging across the sky the equivalent of the distance between London and Hamburg in Germany or between New York and Columbus, Ohio , according to experts from the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Details are published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

The new value for the longest distance traveled by lightning ever detected exceeds by 60 kilometers the previous record that took place on October 31, 2018 through southern Brazil. For both, they used the great circle arc method to measure the extent of the ray.

The technology used to detect the length and duration of lightning has improved dramatically in recent years , allowing for much larger records than in the past.

The WMO highlighted that this record lightning strike and another that lasted for 17.1 seconds thanks to an electrical storm on June 18, 2020 over Uruguay and northern Argentina, occurred in the Great Plains in North America and the basin of La Plata in South America, known as critical points for electrical storms of the so-called Mesoscale Convective System.

When a thunderstorm of this scale strikes, the only places safe from lightning are large buildings with wiring and plumbing , or completely enclosed metal-roofed vehicles, according to the WMO.


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