“Storm chasers have to drive down highways or up mountains,” said Alan Highton, of Catatumbo Camp, who has specialized in lightning tourism in the area for eight years. Surrounded by mountains in three directions, and open to the warm & unstable air that sits above the Caribbean Sea, Venezuela's Lake Maracaibo is the "Lightning Capital Of The World". What Is Storm Surge? According to Mr. Highton, when lightning is near, the residents do little to prepare other than stay indoors, where even if lightning strikes a tin roof, they’re protected by wooden floors. This outstanding authentic fulgurite lightning sand came from one of the lightning capitals of the world, Lake Maracaibo region, in Venezuela. The lightning capital of the world. That’s excellent advice. Less than half an hour after the first cloud forms, it starts to flash. In the unofficial lightning capital of the world, lightning does more than merely strike the same place twice. By. It’s called the Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission satellite, and the device that actually does the counting is called the Lightning Imaging Sensor, or LIS. WOW! It turns out that it’s not just the lake itself… but what surrounds the lake… that makes it so unique (and stormy). According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the odds of being struck by lightning in your lifetime in the United States are 1 in 12,000. Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela earned the top spot receiving an average rate of about 233 flashes per square kilometer per year, according to the study. Lake Maracaibo sits in the northwest part of Venezuela. I do, too! “On a boat, you can run but you can’t hide,” Mr. Highton said. Today, Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela holds the Guinness World Record for the highest concentration of lightning, with 232 flashes per square kilometre per year, on up to 300 nights. Posted by 11 months ago. Reuters. But imagine counting EVERY lightning strike that hits the stormiest parts of PLANET EARTH for an extended period of time? Reuters . The numbers get more astounding. Some locals claim there are 200 lightning strikes a minute for hours at a time. If they do go there, they may want to avoid getting too close to the metal trophy. If you love the weather, you likely love watching thunderstorms roar to life. That’s a very warm and humid part of the world. The 5,100 square mile body of water, located in northwest Venezuela, unseats Africa's Congo Basin as the location of maximum lightning activity on Earth. … Maracaibo may have come in at number one, but here are the top ten lightning hotspots in the world: 1. It's famous for its thunderstorms, but has now been crowned the lightning capital of the world. There’s no surefire way to prepare. Every year! Crazy! Click here to get your autographed copy TODAY! Close. 1.9k. Welcome To The Lightning Capital Of The World. It’s 5,100 square miles in size. Where Is The Lightning Capital Of The World? – Weather “Whys” For Kids. Lots of them. That means in an area one mile long by one mile wide (one square mile), this lake saw an average of more than 600 lightning strikes a year. The lake is fed by several rivers with the largest being the River Catatumbo. Other amazing numbers:  Thunderstorms happen somewhere on the lake nearly 260 days a year, and they stick around for an average of 10 hours a day. Locals in the area known as Lake Maracaibo, by the Catatumbo River in Venezuela, can expect a display of this sort during more than 80 percent of the year, mainly from April to November — an average of 297 days, to be exact, according to an analysis published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. According to NASA, Lake Maracaibo averaged 603 bolts of lightning per square mile per year. A Place Where Lightning Strikes Almost 300 Days a Year In the village of Congo in Venezuela along Catatumbo River, a lightning show can be counted on at some point almost every day. New Lightning apital of the World is Lake Maracaibo on the coast of Venezuela The lake gets lightning about 300 days a year New lightning hotspot for the U.S. is about 30 miles southeast of Fort Myers ut now, thanks to new satellite technology, researchers at the University of Alabama-Huntsville have found a new lightning hotspot for the U.S. and the world. In the village of Congo in Venezuela along Catatumbo River, a lightning show can be counted on at some point almost every day. By tracking lightning around globe over 16 years, scientists have found that Lake Maracaibo in northwest Venezuela is the lightning capital … More than 1,000,000 lightning strikes occur above the lake's … Only one of the Top 15 hot spots is located in the United States (Orangetree, FL, is ranked #14), and Africa is the continent with the most hot spots in the Top 10 (six). Welcome To The Lightning Capital Of The World. Then head over to Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela, which has been crowned the lightning capital of the world. Mysterious Catatumbo Lightning Venezuela's nightly phenomenon disappeared for six months without explanation. This amount of lightning has topped Africa's Congo Basin, the area previously thought to have the most lightning strikes each year. NASA has determined that country's Lake Maracaibo is the new lightning capital of the world. BOOM. August 2, 2011— -- A mysterious symphony of rapid-fire lightning bolts used to create the greatest light show on Earth over the Catatumbo River in Venezuela -- until suddenly they stopped and no one knew why. March 15, 2016, 5:39 AM PDT. REUTERS/Jorge Silva . The 3.4 miles wide Tablazo Strait links the lake to the Venezuelan Gulf. Counting lightning strikes from one thunderstorm… from one location… isn’t too challenging of a task. – Weather “Whys” For Kids, What Is The Polar Vortex? – Weather “Whys” For Kids, Top 5 Coldest States – Weather “Whys” For Kids. The Andes Mountains surround Lake Maracaibo like a horseshoe from the south, and the Caribbean Sea meets it on the north. Nocturnal thunderstorms occur almost 300 days of the year on Venezuela’s Lake Maracaibo. Satellite data has shown that Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela receives more lightning flashes than anywhere else in the world. One report said that you could read a book in the middle of the night because there’s so much light in the sky. Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela. Archived. You’ll also find a lot of warm and humid air over the Caribbean Sea. But perhaps that will change. The weather phenomenon called Catatumbo lightning that occurs at the lake produces more lightning than any other area in the world. This was enough that NASA has declared the area the lightning capital of the world, dethroning Africa’s Congo Basin. This happens all around the world without much fanfare. According to a recent scientific study, the new lightning capital of the world is Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela. Catatumbo lightning (Spanish: Relámpago del Catatumbo) is an atmospheric phenomenon which occurs over the mouth of the Catatumbo River where it empties into Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela. However, the entire lake doesn’t get the peak number of strikes, so the more conservative (but still huge) estimate is 1.2 million lightning strikes. Florida had fewer lightning strikes than normal in 2019, but still managed to retain its title as the lightning capital of the U.S., according to a new report released this week. The National Weather Service has a saying that could save your life:  “When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors”. This study produced a list of the world’s top “Lightning Hot Spots”. The warm, humid, and unstable air has nowhere to go. Nov 8, 2014, 02:54 IST. 2. John Metcalfe. Kabare, Democratic Republic of … “But the unique thing about the Catatumbo is you can just sit there at our camp, drink a cold beer, and the storms will come to you.” He says the prettiest storms come in November, and according to the data, they peak in September. That would be quite hard! There is a new lightning capital of the world, according to a study using observations for the Lightning Imaging Sensor on NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission. The people who live near Lake Maracaibo call it Catatumbo lightning, as the Catatumbo River helps feed the lake. Look at the map on the left. It indicates the ability to send an email. Lake Maracaibo is a very large body of water. If you were to multiply 603 (bolts per year per square mile) by 5,100 (square miles), you’d come up with more than three million lightning strikes a year. Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela has a new claim to fame: This large bay has been revealed as the lightning capital of the world, with storms lighting up … **CLICK HERE For The Top 5 HOTTEST States In The USA**. It does this faster and faster — 200 flashes a minute is not uncommon. 42 comments. 2014-11-07T21:24:05Z The letter F. An envelope. It is considered to be one of the premier lightning capitals of the world. Although most people survive lightning strikes with severe neurological injuries, they can occasionally be deadly. But Venezuela’s Lake Maracaibo earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records for “highest concentration of lightning” with 250 lightning flashes per square kilometre each year. This week, scientists are sending weather balloons above Lake Maracaibo as part of a continuing, separate project that will help them better predict when and where lightning will strike. That’s nearly two every day!!! According to Mr. Highton, lightning strikes one to three people every year near Lake Maracaibo. A Place Where Lightning Strikes Almost 300 Days a Year. This Lake In Venezuela Is The World's "Lightning Capital” 0 Share on Facebook. This lake is a very stormy place! Share on Twitter. And it’s… Earth has a new lightning capital, according to a recent study using observations from the Lightning Imaging Sensor onboard NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission. In Venezuela, nature’s most electrifying lightning show Storm chasers flock to remote Catatumbo, where most experts estimate that lightning strikes roughly 140 to … But in this one specific spot, that cool air moving down the Andes Mountains spills into Lake Maracaibo. But I want to make sure you do this safely, and the safest place to be when a thunderstorm is nearby is inside. Thankfully, there is a satellite in orbit that counts all of that lightning for us. Indeed, where the Catatumbo River meets Maracaibo Lake in the city of the same name in Venezuela, lightning strikes as many as 28 times a minute, or well over a thousand strikes per hour. The secret to Catatumbo lightning lies in the unique topography of the land. There’s another one!“. (In recent days, 65 people were killed by lightning in Bangladesh, according to CNN.). The NASA study gave results that are somewhat hard to understand, but we can do some math to figure them out. That’s because tall mountains nearly surround the lake to the east, south, and west. But only one place can be called the “Lightning Capital Of The World”, and that place is Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela. In Venezuela, at the mouth of the Catatumbo River where it meets the Lake Maracaibo, a unique and impressive natural phenomenon, variously known as the "Catatumbo lightning", the "Beacon of Maracaibo" or the “Everlasting Storm”, captures the eyes and attention of all observers there to witness it. But fishermen have been killed on the lake. You can read more about thunderstorm and lightning safety here. “You can read a newspaper in the middle of the night because it’s so bright,” said Jonas Pointek, a photographer who has documented the storms. Cool mountain breezes move into the valley at night and collide with warm wind from the sea and lake in a way that creates optimal conditions for lightning. I remember laying in bed as a child & counting the flashes of lightning and claps of thunder during summertime thunderstorms. After that, the cloud becomes a giant bulb that lights up the night. They call it “the Never-Ending Storm of Catatumbo,” or “Maracaibo’s Lighthouse.” Its lightning is so familiar, people in the state of Zulia in Venezuela even put it on their flag. If Dr. Frankenstein’s descendants need a good place with reliable power for another attempt at Victor’s reanimation experiment, NASA suggests they head to Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela which, according to a recently-concluded 16-year study, is the new lightning capital of the world. We absolutely need to talk about why this one specific location receives more thunderstorm activity than any other place on the planet. Advertisement . Now let’s talk about the mountains. The lake occupies an area of about 5,100 sq miles and was once the biggest in South America. NASA did a study by looking at 16 years of data that was collected by the LIS. “One, two, three. In a small area of northwestern Venezuela, where the Catatumbo River meets Lake Maracaibo, one of nature’s most spectacular phenomena - the Catatumbo lightning Known as “the everlasting storm,” occur, this wonderful natural light show spread through the sky for up to 160 nights a year, for as long as 10 hours at a time. The reason for the change: Sixteen years worth of data from the lightning sensors on a satellite allowed the team to analyze the numbers with unprecedented precision. Book your next vacation for Venezuela. At the junction of Catatumbo River and Lake Maracaibo, a Venezuelan bay at the tip of the South American continent, there is an average of 233 flashes of lightning per square kilometre per year. Environment. Come evening-time, cool air often sinks down the slopes of mountains and spreads out once it hits the valley floor. An image of a chain link. The wind patterns often carry this warm and humid air from the Caribbean southward into the Gulf of Venezuela and Lake Maracaibo, but then the air gets ‘trapped’. This is electrifying Venezuela … The result:  THUNDERSTORMS! Since the cool air keeps flowing down the mountains and under the air from the Caribbean, the stormy process happens almost every night for several hours a night. In a year’s time, lightning strikes as many as 1.2 million times. A creature that photographer identified as a large bat flew in front of the camera at the very moment lightning struck at Catatumbo Lightning Camp, which guarantees tourists the opportunity to sleep amid dramatic storms. The lightning capital of the world. Venezuela's iconic Catatumbo lightning has won the Guinness world record for having the highest number of lightning per square kilometre per year. This cool airmass sinks under the warm & humid air that’s already there. 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