WMO certifies two Megaflash lightning records
Record of Longest lightning bolt 477 miles, and greatest duration lightning bolt record of 17.1 seconds
According to the Associated Press, a bolt of lightning that stretched nearly 500 miles across three U.S. states is the new world record holder for longest flash.
According to the World Meteorological Organization, the single flash extended 477.2 miles (768 kilometers) across Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi in 29 April 2020, the World Meteorological Organization said Monday. This is the same as the distance between London (UK) and Hamburg (Germany). That beat the old record set in 2018 in Brazil of 440.6 miles (709 kilometers).
Also in 18 June 2020, a single lightning flash over Uruguay and northern Argentina lasted 17.1 seconds, nipping the old time record of 16.7 seconds. The previous record was also over northern Argentina.
WMO has verified 2 new world records for a⚡️lightning #megaflash
Longest distance single flash of 768 km (477.2 miles) across southern #USA – 60 kilometres MORE than old record
Greatest duration of 17.102 seconds over #Uruguay and northern #Argentina https://t.co/6AzyzTgMIO pic.twitter.com/VqUgxEDHB2
— World Meteorological Organization (@WMO) February 1, 2022
According to the AP news, normally lightning doesn’t stretch farther than 10 miles and lasts less than a second, said Arizona State University’s Randall Cerveny, who is the chief of records confirmation for the meteorological organization.
“These two lightning flash records are absolutely extraordinary,” Cerveny said in an email.
These records, which are not linked to climate change, were spotted and confirmed thanks to new satellite tracking technology. Both regions are two of the few places in the world prone to the type of intense storms that can produce what are called “mega flashes, Cerveny said.