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Lightning Bolt Extending Across 3 U.S. States Is The Longest Ever Recorded

Longest Lightning Bolt Record

Photo: NOAA

A bolt of lightning that stretched nearly 500 miles across three U.S. states is the new world record holder for longest flash.

According to the World Meteorological Organization, the single flash extended 477.2 miles across Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi in April 2020. The previous record was set in 2018 in Brazil, with a flash extending 440.6 miles.

In addition, a single lightning flash over Uruguay and northern Argentina reportedly lasted 17.1 seconds, beating the old record of 16.7 seconds.

Randall Cerveny, the chief of records confirmation, says lightning usually doesn't stretch further than 10 miles and lasts less than a second.

“These two lightning flash records are absolutely extraordinary,” said Cerveny.

New satellite tracking technology was able to spot and confirm these new records.

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