For lightning to occur, atmospheric instability is necessary. That is, cold, dry air must be above warm, moist air. Normally, this warm and humid air cannot be found in areas close to the north pole. Therefore, it is really complicated for lightning strikes to occur in this area.

However, during August 10, 2019, scientists detected dozens of lightning strikes near the North Pole. Just 300 nautical miles away. This event is so unusual that the U.S. National Weather Service office in Fairbanks, Alaska, stated that this was one of the most northerly lightning strikes remembered by Alaskan forecasters.

Source: NWS Fairbanks (NOAA)

Although it is very likely that this unusual phenomenon has occurred due to climate change, it may also be due to other reasons. For example, the warming of the area due to the smoke from the intense forest fires that took place this summer in Siberia.

According to experts, polar lightning will become more common as global temperatures rise and melting in Arctic areas increases.