(ORDO NEWS) — A nearly 770-kilometer lightning flash in the United States has set a new world record, the UN said.
Two years ago, a flash of lightning across the United States cut nearly 770 kilometers across the sky, setting a new world record.
The new record for the longest outbreak, measured in the southern United States on April 29, 2020, stretched a whopping 768 kilometers across three states: Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.
This lightning zigzagged about 60 kilometers further than the previous record set in southern Brazil on October 31, 2018.
The WMO Panel on Extreme Weather and Climate Events also announced a new world record for the longest lightning flash.
The only flash that developed continuously during a thunderstorm over Uruguay and northern Argentina on June 18, 2020 lasted 17.1 seconds, 0.37 seconds longer than the previous record set on March 4, 2019 in northern Argentina.
“These are extraordinary records of single lightning flashes,” Randall Cerveny, WMO rapporteur on extreme weather and climate events, said in a statement.
The technology used to determine the length and duration of lightning flashes has improved significantly in recent years, allowing much more to be recorded than was once the norm.
“Extreme environmental events are living measurements of the power of nature, as well as scientific progress in being able to make such assessments,” he said.
“It is likely that even more extreme events exist, and we will be able to observe them as lightning detection technology improves,” Cerveny said.
“Lightning is a serious hazard that claims many lives every year,” WMO chief Petteri Taalas said in a statement.
“The results highlight the important public safety concerns of lightning that can travel extremely long distances.”
WMO has indicated that the only lightning-proof locations are large buildings with electrical and plumbing wiring or fully enclosed vehicles with metal roofs.
The archive currently includes two other extremes related to lightning.
One of them concerns the majority of people killed by a single direct lightning strike when 21 people died in Zimbabwe in 1975 when they hid in a hut for safety.
The other is an indirect strike when 469 people died in Dronk (Egypt) when lightning struck several oil tanks in 1994, causing burning oil to flood the city.
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