Science 2020: This is now officially the longest lightning impact

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In the last days of the year, we look back on many of the scientific highlights of the year. Today: The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced earlier this year that the longest lightning on record was 709 kilometers long. The system has an uncertainty of 8 kilometers, so the lightning could have been 717 kilometers long.

Super Lightning measured over southern Brazil on October 31, 2018 using new lightning satellite imaging techniques and is now officially recognized. The new record is twice as long as the previous one. On June 20, 2007, 200 miles (321 km) of lightning was measured in the US state of Oklahoma.

An interesting, almost unbelievable post, but storm chaser Jolian van Rune emphasizes that as an observer you always see only part of the lightning. “You often only see the end of an eruption like this. Often part of the lightning is in the clouds. You can never see the whole of 709 kilometers.”

Too long and long

WMO announced the second record, i.e. with the longest lightning. On March 4, 2019, lightning struck north of Argentina and lasted 16.73 seconds.

That system reminds us of her within News release For some more extreme storm records. For example, in Zimbabwe in 1975, 21 people were killed by a single lightning strike. In 1994, 469 people were killed by a single lightning strike, but indirectly: the lightning struck several oil tanks and flooded a village with burning oil.

This article was originally published on June 26.

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About the Author: Cary Douglas

Cary Douglas is a reporter who covers everything from oil trading to China's biggest conglomerates and technology companies. Originally from Chicago, he is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

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