The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) recognized last Tuesday (01) two new records for longest lightning and longest lightning. the record of greater distance covered by the same radius was registered in April 2020, in the United States, with 768km. already the longest lasting ray went to lightning that crossed the border between Uruguay and Argentina in June 2020 that lasted 17 seconds.
The two new records took place in lowland regions, facilitating the creation of combined storm systems, which leads to the occurrence of such surprising phenomena. The results presented by the WMO were published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Societyafter verification of its veracity.
In both cases, the lightning did not hit the ground, only spreading through the clouds. The researchers claim that such meteorological events, known as Megarays do not happen in ordinary storms. “They require expansive electrified clouds that discharge at rates low enough to facilitate unique horizontal lightning strikes that span extraordinary distances.”
Such rays can only be observed through geostationary satellites, so there is a margin of error for the actual size of the record with the largest radius. Researchers estimate that there is a margin of +/- 8km in length in the 768km radius that occurred in the United States.
Record for biggest radius ever was Brazilian
WMO started recording world records from the year 2016. Latin America is a region prone to lightning storms due to its geography and air currents. Brazil was the previous record holder, for a radius of about 708km in length that took place in 2018, in the southern region of the country.
The difference between the Brazilian and American record is 60km and from the image released by the WMO, we can see how the 768km radius crossed the states of Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi near the coast.
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