World Record Lightning Bolt Stretched Almost 500 Miles Over 3 States

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A lightning bolt spanning nearly 500 miles across three states captured a new world record holder for longest flash, multiple sources reported.

A lightning bolt from April 2020 spanning 477.2 miles across Texas, Louisiana and Missippi was declared the world record holder for the longest flash, the World Meteorological Organization announced Monday. The previous world record was set in 2018 in Brazil by a flash spanning 440.6 miles.

Meanwhile, another world record was confirmed in April 2020, when a single flash over Uraguay and northern Argentina lasted 17.1 seconds, beating the previous record of 16.7 seconds, the WMO announced Monday.

Lightning usually doesn’t stretch over 10 miles, and it typically lasts under one second, Randall Cerveny, a geographical sciences professor at Arizona State University and the chief of records confirmation for the meteorological organization, told CBS News.

“These two lightning flash records are absolutely extraordinary,” Cerveny told CBS News.

Both April 2020 flashes occurred from cloud to cloud and thousands of feet above the ground, Cerveny said, adding that no one was harmed during either of the bolts.

The records were not associated with climate change, Cerveny told CBS News, saying they were spotted and confirmed by new satellite tracking technology. Both regions where the records were set are some of the only places prone to such intense storms which produce “megaflashes,” he said, CBS News reported.

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