Lightning around the world


The Living Force
FOTCM Member

Megaflashes! New records set for longest lightning strikes, both in length and duration

Story Summary
  • The new record for longest lightning strike is now 477 miles, set on April 29, 2020.
  • The new record for longest-duration lightning strike is just over 17 seconds.
  • “These are extraordinary records from single lightning-flash events."
Scientists in Europe on Monday confirmed that a pair of lightning strikes in 2020 set new world records, for both length and duration.

The new record for the longest lightning strike is now 477 miles, set on April 29, 2020, across parts of the southern United States from Texas to Mississippi
, according to the report.

And the new record for longest-duration lightning strike is just over 17 seconds, which came from a flash that developed continuously through a thunderstorm over Uruguay and northern Argentina on June 18, 2020.

“These are extraordinary records from single lightning-flash events," said Professor Randall Cerveny, rapporteur of Weather and Climate Extremes for the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which certified the records.

World weather records can take years to officially certify.

"Environmental extremes are living measurements of the power of nature, as well as scientific progress in being able to make such assessments," Cerveny said. "It is likely that even greater extremes still exist, and that we will be able to observe them as lightning detection technology improves.”

The findings were published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

“Lightning is a major hazard that claims many lives every year," WMO Secretary-General Professor Petteri Taalas said. "The findings highlight important public lightning safety concerns for electrified clouds where flashes can travel extremely large distances.”

The records were determined with help from lightning detection equipment onboard satellites in orbit around the Earth.

The WMO said the new record strikes occurred in hotspots for "mesoscale convective system" thunderstorms, in which extraordinary megaflashes can occur – namely, the Great Plains of North America and the La Plata basin in South America.

A megaflash is defined as a horizontal lightning discharge that reaches hundreds of miles in length.

"These extremely large and long-duration lightning events were not isolated but happened during active thunderstorms. Any time there is thunder heard it is time to reach a lightning-safe place,”
lightning specialist and WMO committee member Ron Holle said.

In 2021, the U.S. saw a record low number of lightning deaths: Only 11 recorded, according to the National Lightning Safety Council.

New records were set for both the duration of a lightning strike (left, in South America) and for length of a lightning strikes (right, in the U.S.)

New records were set for both the duration of a lightning strike (left, in South America) and for length of a lightning strikes (right, in the U.S.) / WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION​


The Living Force
FOTCM Member

The prominent line in the northern half can be seen in the simulated rain radar from Thu 00:00 to Thu 07:00. Heavy showers/thunderstorms with local hurricanes and even a risk of tornadoes! This map is already impressive, especially BRB/Berlin at around 4… /FR


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Is this plasma?

What was that mysterious vertical red light in the Houston sky?

The answer? We don't know.
What we do know is we started getting reports of the light at about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday. As of 9:15 p.m., the light appeared to be gone.
For what it's worth, we did get a message from a LyondellBasell plant in La Porte saying the plant was undergoing activities that would result in periodic flaring.
KHOU 11 Meteorologist Tim Pandajis and and Chief Meteorologist David Paul both said the clouds were very reflective on Wednesday night, so the light very well could have been from the flaring.
Pandajis also said the light resembled something called a red sprite. The problem with that theory is that red sprites usually appear in groups and are usually positioned over active thunderstorms. He said that's likely not the case with this light.

Five months ago it was seen a similar vertical red light over Oaxaca México



The Living Force
FOTCM Member


The Living Force
FOTCM Member


The Living Force
FOTCM Member

Meteorological risk bulletin Center Region - Loire Valley
Evolution of the meteorological situation:

Heat risk: This Thursday, before the arrival of possible storms at the end of the day, it will be hot on our territory this Thursday afternoon with values often between +25°C and +30°C over a very large southern part Center – Loire Valley and between +22°C and +25°C in the North of Eure-et-Loir .

Stormy risk: Between the end of the afternoon and the evening, stormy showers and localized thunderstorms will occur in the
South of the Center - Loire Valley , mainly in the South of the Loire (stormy risk much more isolated/limited in the North) . Under the strongest storm cells,hail (very locally hailstones of 1 to 4 cm) , heavy rain (very locally > 20/30 mm) and good gusts of wind (locally > 80/90 km/h) will be probable. Some sectors will be spared. The rainfall accumulations will remain very heterogeneous from one sector to another, given the stormy nature of the precipitation. A supercell type thunderstorm and an isolated vortex phenomenon will remain probable , given an unstable and sheared environment. The stormy potential will be "better" in the direction of Berry .

To learn more about this thunderstorm risk near you, click here

To follow thunderstorms near you, click here

To know the current conditions (temperatures, observations, rainfall, gusts of wind, etc.) near you, click here

French Observatory of Tornadoes and Severe Thunderstorms

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The Living Force
Lack of Lightning over Sweden, May 2022

During May 2022, in my opinion the frequency of lightning was very low, on the verge of unusual low. Usually you would get at least a couple of times an onset of lightning over a larger area in Sweden - but this year the highest amount of lightning was registered on 31 May 2022, with a mere 320 lightning strikes at the most. I have not seen any lightning nor heard any thunder over Stockholm this year (but I do have seen shower cells with anvils far in the distance).

The lack of lightning May 2022 compares similar to the poor months of May in 2008 and 2017 (e.g. shown in the last two charts further below) Even May 2020 was rather poor.

may-2022.jpg num_month_2205.jpg

I should add that May is considered to be part of the main thunderstorm season in Sweden. In direct comparison to the other, main summer months of June, July and August - May is still on the weaker side. Nevertheless, past charts show that May can indeed be very lively in terms of Thunderstorm activity (see below)

Lightning over Sweden during earlier years
It was definitely more spectacle on display over the Swedish skies

num_month_2105.jpg num_month_1405.jpg num_month_1605.jpg
num_month_1105.jpg num_month_1005.jpg num_month_0705.jpg num_month_0305.jpg num_month_0805.jpg num_month_1705.jpg

Memory lane • 26 May 2003

You can see in the chart for May 2003 above, that a "red trail" goes right over Stockholm. That event I remember from 26 May 2003, because it was an unusual strong thunderstorm cell, possibly a super cell traversing from south east of Norrköping (200 km away) across Stockholm all the way up to the coast 90 km to the north. During short times the rain was extremely strong. Here are some photos I made from the approach of that super cell as the onset of the storm unfolded very rapidly.

I was prepared because one hours earlier, I saw how small clouds quickly created streaks with embedded "mini towers" (Altocumulus castellanus and Altocumulus floccus "fluffy" starting to expand) Often indicative for approaching or developing thunderstorms hours later.

2003-05-26-07-29-01.jpg 2003-05-26-09-34-04.jpg
An innocent start... 26 May 2003. 07:29 - then around 09.30 the sky all of the sudden started to look ominous

2003-05-26-09-36-22.jpg 2003-05-26-09-43-48.jpg
It took only 2 minutes from the first photo of the T-storm cell 09:36, until the sky was very dark and rain started to fall (09:39), which after an additional 3 minutes later (09:43) turned into a super rain (albeit not that long lasting really).

Very dark "light" 09:44 - even the street lights form the Nynäsvägen highway turned on again


The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Stormy activity well sustained since yesterday evening initially on the Massif Central a little more to the south than expected then by Aquitaine going up on Limousin and Poitou-Charentes. Several #supercellules often giving hail.
Proof of this is the sometimes intense electrical activity under certain cells.

So I finally managed to capture these so fleeting TLE! Phenomenon occurring above powerful thunderstorms, at an altitude of more than 80 km.


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