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The never-ending lightning storm



Why one area in South America sees thousands of strikes per nightThe area sees an estimated 1,176,000 electrical discharges per year, with an intensity of up to 400,000 amperes, and visible up to 400 km away.Its an environmental trend that happens where the Catatumbo River submerge with the Lake Maracaibo, in Venezuela. How does this happen? On the southwestern side of Venezuela’s massive Lake Maracaibo, a natural phenomenon continues to mystify residents.

The Relámpago del Catatumbo (relámpago means lightning, Catatumbo is a nearby river) is a lightning storm that rages most nights for eight months of every year, and has been flashing for thousands of years. As many as 40,000 lightning bolts illuminate the sky every night at a rate of 18 to 60 bolts per minute. But this disturbance happens high in the troposphere, about three miles up, so the storm raging overhead is eerily silent when viewed from the ground.






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