Watch the Longest Lightning Flash Ever

The ESSIC/CISESS Geostationary Lightning Team team, which includes Scott Rudlosky, Daile Zhang, Guangyang Fang, and Joseph Patton, have released a new ArcGIS Story Map via the NOAA GeoPlatform titled “Longest Lightning Flash Ever?”. This website provides stunning visualizations of a recently documented world record flash that covered a horizontal distance of 768 km (477.2 miles) on April 29, 2020.  This is equivalent to the distance between New York City and Columbus, Ohio. This flash was recently certified as the longest single flash world record, as covered in an ESSIC press release.


The document was prepared in response to the many inquiries received following this announcement, and seeks to share an important lightning safety message– lightning can strike ground anytime during the flash anywhere along its path.  The page has been viewed over 1000 times in the first week.


The GLM is a near-infrared optical transient detector onboard the NOAA GOES-16 and -17 Satellites. It maps lightning strikes and pulses across the Western Hemisphere using optical signals in conjunction with ground-based networks that detect radio waves. 


Rudlosky is a Physical Scientist with the Satellite Climate Studies Branch of NOAA/NESDIS/STAR. His research focuses on satellite lightning products and how they compare to ground measurements.


Zhang is a postdoctoral associate at ESSIC, focusing on evaluating and assessing space-based lightning sensors such as the GLM. 


To access the story map, click here: “Longest Lightning Flash Ever?”