UN Records 700-km Brazil ‘Megaflash’ Lightning Record

June 26, 2020
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The weather watching agency for the United Nation announced Thursday the longest lightning bolt on record — a single flash in Brazil on October 31, 2018 that cut the sky across more than 700 kilometres– AFP

That is equivalent to the distance between Boston and Washington DC in the United States, or between London and Basel, Switzerland, the World Meteorological Organization said in a statement, according to AFP.

WMO’s committee of experts on weather and climate extremes further reported a new world record for the duration of a lightning flash, with a single flash that developed continuously over northern Argentina on March 4, 2019 lasting for a full 16.73 seconds.

The new measurements reveal “extraordinary records from single lightning flash events,” Randall Cerveny, the chief rapporteur in the WMO expert committee, said in the statement, according to AFP.

“It is likely that even greater extremes still exist, and that we will be able to observe them as lightning detection technology improves,” he said.

WMO said the new “megaflash” records, are twice the previously known record holders, and were verified with new satellite lightning imagery technology.

The previous record for the longest detected distance for a single lightning flash was 321 kilometres (199 miles), measured on June 20, 2007 in the US state of Oklahoma, WMO said.

The previous duration record was 7.74 seconds, measured on August 30, 2012 in southern France, it said– AFP

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