A bolt of lightning stretched 477 miles across three states in the U.S. was confirmed Monday as the new record holder for the longest flash.
The flash extended across Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi in April 2020, the World Meteorological Organization said Monday on Twitter.
WMO has verified 2 new world records for a⚡️lightning #megaflash— World Meteorological Organization (@WMO) February 1, 2022
Longest distance single flash of 768 km (477.2 miles) across southern #USA - 60 kilometres MORE than old record
Greatest duration of 17.102 seconds over #Uruguay and northern #Argentina https://t.co/6AzyzTgMIO pic.twitter.com/VqUgxEDHB2
This beats the old record set in 2018 in Brazil of 440.6 miles, according to The Associated Press.
The organization also announced a new record for the longest-lasting lightning strike that lasted for a duration of 17.1 seconds over Uruguay and northern Argentina.
Normally, lightning doesn’t extend farther than 10 miles and lasts seconds, the report added, which is why the two lightning flash records are extraordinary.
Since the lightning in the U.S. was several thousand feet above the ground and cloud to cloud, no one was in danger.
- According to CBS News, lightning strikes 25 million times per year in the U.S., summer months being the prime season, though people can get struck at any time of the year.
- John Jensenius, a lightning specialist, said that 80% of fatalities occur in men, suggesting several possibilities, including men being unaware of associated dangers, are more likely to be vulnerable situations outdoors or unwilling to be bothered by the threat.