The flash that set the record happened during a series of thunderstorms that rolled through the United States in April of 2020. A lightning bolt normally doesn’t stretch much over 10 miles in length. But the new world record for mega lashes of lightning according to the World Meteorological Organizationstretched 477 miles which occurred in hotspots for such activity in North and South America. Yes, you heard it right! This single lightning bolt stretched so far it covered the states of Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi!
Megaflash lightning is defined as discharges that cover a horizontal distance of hundreds of miles, often lasting multiple seconds. Megaflashes do not occur in ordinary thunderstorms. They require special electrified clouds.
Professor Randall Cerveny who was appointed by WMO’s Weather and Climate Extremes to report their findings said, “These are extraordinary records from single lightning flash events. Environmental extremes are living measurements of the power of nature, as well as scientific progress in being able to make such assessments.”
This mega flash was over one and a half times the length of the Grand Canyon or the same as the distance between New York and Columbus, Ohio. This breaks the previous record, set in Brazil during 2018, by around 37 miles.