France strikes with longest-lasting lightning bolt


Marseille (AFP)

At a little over seven seconds France's lasts the longest but America's is by far the biggest.

The UN World Meteorological Organization on Friday announced that France held the record for longest-lasting lightning bolt, with a flash on August 30, 2012 in the southeast of France lighting up the sky for a full 7.74 seconds.

The horizontal bolt travelled 200 kilometres (125 miles), the WMO's Rapporteur of Weather & Climate Extremes, Randall Cerveny, told AFP.

"It was a "cloud-to-cloud" discharge," Cerveny said.

France was bested, however, in the distance stakes by the US.

A lightning strike on June 20, 2007 in the state of Oklahoma covered a distance of 321 kilometres, the WMO said.