Science & Technology
Record-breaking lightning flash traveled almost 500 miles
By T.K. Randall
February 5, 2022 · 1 comment
As far as lightning flashes go, this one was a monster. Image Credit: YouTube / NOAASatellites
An incredible 'megaflash' of lightning recently streaked for hundreds of miles across the United States.
Last week the World Meteorological Organization officially certified what is now recognized as the world's furthest-traveling flash of lightning which struck the US on April 29th, 2020.
Covering a distance of almost 500 miles, the bolt from the blue managed to travel all the way from the south of Houston to southeastern Mississippi - beating the previous record by 37 miles.
It was picked up by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's GOES-East satellite (you can view the satellite's imagery of the event below.)
"Lightning is a surprisingly elusive and complex natural phenomenon for the impact that it has on our daily lives," said Michael J. Peterson of the Los Alamos National Laboratory.
"We are now at a place where we have excellent measurements of its many facets, which allow us to discover surprising new aspects of its behavior."
Megaflashes occur when lightning carries from one cloud to the next, enabling it to travel much further than would otherwise be possible.
"Now that we have a robust record of these monster flashes, we can begin to understand how they occur and appreciate the disproportionate impact that they have," said Peterson.
"There is still a lot that we do not know about these monsters."
Source: Science Alert
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