Shocking: Lightning Bolt Over Oklahoma Measured at 199 Miles Long

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Talk about some shocking news from the sky!

Scientists identified all-time world records for both the longest lightning bolt — nearly 200 miles — and the world’s longest-duration lightning flash — over 7 seconds — according to a report released Thursday.

Both records were certified by the World Meteorological Organization, which is in charge of documenting such things.

The record-long lightning bolt was spotted over Oklahoma on June 20, 2007, and traveled 199.5 miles, about three-quarters the length of the state. That’s almost the distance from New York City to Washington, D.C.

The world’s longest-lasting lightning flash lasted for 7.74 seconds on Aug 30, 2012, over Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France.

A report about the records has been accepted for publication in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

This “reinforces critical safety information regarding lightning, specifically that lightning flashes can travel huge distances from their parent thunderstorms,” said Randall Cerveny, chief Rapporteur of Climate and Weather Extremes for the WMO and a professor at Arizona State University.

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SOURCE: Doyle Rice
USA TODAY