United Nations meteorologists award lightning records • The Register


The World Meteorological Organization, the weather monitoring agency of the United Nations, has approved two new world records for lightning.

The organization measures two qualities of lightning: the duration of a flash and the distance for a single flash.

In 2016 the outfit reward world records to a flash that crossed France for 7.74 seconds in 2012, and a flash that traveled 321 km in the sky above Oklahoma in 2007.

A review of lightning records saw both eclipsed with the 2020 certificate new records recorded in South America.

The longest-lasting flash record went to an event that lasted 16.73 seconds over northern Argentina on March 4, 2019. The long-distance flash record fell to a 709 km event above of Brazil in 2018.

Today, the Organization announced new records.

Uruguay and northern Argentina teamed up in a flash of 17.102 seconds in June 2020, to claim the long-running crown. The United States regained its long distance title with a flash of 768km recorded in April 2020. Neither event touched the ground, instead fulfilling their responsibilities in the atmosphere.

World Meteorological Organization records new lightning records

The record flashes followed by the OMM.

Click to enlarge

The WMO made no mention of the new records related to Earth’s climate change. Instead, the new records are the result of using space-based observations, rather than previous ground-based methods. Looking from above, scouts see more events than was possible with terrestrial observations.

To help things, some satellites are equipped with a dedicated lightning detection kit.

The record events were seen in places known to be highly prone to lightning – which, it turns out, strikes the same location twice.

The Organization also collects rather grim statistics on lightning. For example, the deadliest known lightning strike, which killed 21 people seeking shelter from the storm in a Zimbabwean hut in 1975. And in 1994, 469 people were killed in the Egyptian town of Dronka “when the lightning struck a set of oil tanks, causing burns”. oil to flood the city.” ®


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