The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has certified a new world record for the longest duration of lightning and another for the longest horizontal extension.

These records, which more than double those previously recorded, have been approved by the UN agency specializing in weather, climate and water. These experts, including Manola Brunet from Spain, keep a record of the most extreme phenomena at regional, hemispheric and global levels.

The new world record for the longest horizontal span of lightning was 709km, the distance from Valencia to Santander, and took place on October 31, 2018 in Brazil. And the new world record for the longest duration of lightning, which took place on March 4, 2019 in Argentina, was 16.73 seconds.

Previously the records were set at 321km horizontal range and 7.74 seconds duration.

“These are extraordinary records for individual lightning strikes. The measurements of environmental extremes are living proof of what nature is capable of, as well as of the scientific advances that have been made in making these assessments. It is likely that even greater extremes will exist and that we will be able to observe them as lightning detection technology evolves,” explained Professor Randall Cerveny, WMO’s rapporteur on global records of extreme weather and climate events.