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Scientists Confirm Record-Breaking 17 Second Lightning Strike

The previous longest duration flash was 16.7 seconds.
Scientists confirm record-breaking 17 second lightning strike
An image of the storms that produced the longest lightning flash capture by a NOAA satellite from April 29, 2020. Photo: NOAA


Scientists recorded a single lightning flash lasting 17.1 seconds in June of 2020 over Uruguay and northern Argentina, becoming the longest lasting lightning flash ever recorded, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced.

Why it matters: The strike was one of two new new lightning-related world records established by the WMO on Monday, the other being a lightning strike that covered around 477 miles in the southern U.S. on April 29, 2020.

  • The WMO's Committee on Weather and Climate Extremes uses weather satellites to maintain official records of global, hemispheric and regional weather extremes.

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