Two lightning strikes broke records in 2020, says World Meteorological Organization

The World Meteorological Organization announced on Tuesday they had officially documented two record-breaking lightning strikes in 2020.

The first record-breaker was during a storm that brought a single lightning bolt lasting for an impressive 17.01 seconds on June 18, 2020, over Uruguay and northern Argentina. The strike broke the previously recorded longest-duration single-bolt strike, which came in at 16.73 seconds in 2019 in the same region.

The second lighting record broken in 2020 was for the widest-spread single lightning bolt, with the previous record coming in at 440 miles in 2018. The 2020 strike, which stretched from Texas to Mississippi on April 29, 2020, measured in at 477 miles long. 

The records, published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society this week, may not remain in place for very long, according to experts. “It is likely that even greater extremes still exist, and that we will be able to observe them as lightning detection technology improves,” said Randall Cerveny, professor of geography at Arizona State University, in a statement.




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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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