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maracaibo weather lightning

January 18, 2021 by  
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The presence of methane seems to be especially highlighted in the lagoons right under the epicenter of the Catatumbo storm. [16][17][18][19] Using satellite data, two groups of researchers have provided analyses of the lightning's location, timing and number of discharges per square kilometer. [9], Some authors have misinterpreted a reference to a glow in the night sky in Lope de Vega's description in his epic La Dragontea of the attack against San Juan de Puerto Rico by Sir Francis Drake as an early literary allusion to the lightning (since in another verse the poet does mention Maracaibo), but it was actually a reference to the glow produced by burning ships during the battle. Known as Relampo del Catatumbo , the storm is located where the Catatumbo River flows into Lake Maracaibo. [citation needed] He concluded that the lightning has several epicenters in the marshes of Juan Manuel de Aguas National Park, Claras Aguas Negras, and west Lake Maracaibo. The study also showed that the forecast accuracy is significantly higher when an index based on a combination of winds and convective available potential energy is used. Lake Maracaibo tops out at an astonishing 233 lightning flashes per square kilometer per year , making it the absolute lightning … CMC-GEO-DDI-02-2011. Muñoz, Á.G., Díaz-Lobatón, J., 2011: "The Catatumbo Lightnings: A review", Memoirs of the XIV International Conference on Atmospheric Electricity. [4] The phenomenon is characterized by almost continuous lightning, mostly within the clouds. Methane is a great conductor of electricity. The heat and moisture collected across the plains create electrical charges and, as the air masses are destabilized by the mountain ridges, result in thunderstorm activity. [7] [2] It occurs over and around Lake Maracaibo, typically over a bog area formed where the Catatumbo River flows into the lake. A lot of the notable lightning spots are tied to the terrain features: slopes of mountain ranges, curved coastlines. It originates from a mass of storm clouds at a height of more than 1 km, and occurs during 140 to 160 nights a year, 10 hours per day and up to 280 times per hour. But some scientists suggest that another factor is increasing it: methane. That combination of the topographical and atmospheric features alone would make it the location into a "cooking pot for thunderstorms.". Sometimes it lasts as long as 10 hours per day, with as many as 300 lightning … The climate in Maracaibo is hot, oppressive, and overcast. The Catatumbo Lightning is the most reliable - and frequent - lightning show on earth, occurring about 300 days out of the year. The temperature can be hotter than the surface of the Sun! [10], Catatumbo lightning usually develops between .mw-parser-output .geo-default,.mw-parser-output .geo-dms,.mw-parser-output .geo-dec{display:inline}.mw-parser-output .geo-nondefault,.mw-parser-output .geo-multi-punct{display:none}.mw-parser-output .longitude,.mw-parser-output .latitude{white-space:nowrap}8°30′N 71°0′W / 8.500°N 71.000°W / 8.500; -71.000 (Approximate outer limit) and 9°45′N 73°0′W / 9.750°N 73.000°W / 9.750; -73.000 (Approximate outer limit). A lot of tourists are attracted to the Beacon of Maracaibo since, in many countries, thunderstorms and lighting are exceedingly rare. By Antonia Čirjak on January 13 2020 in Environment, Venezuela's Lake Maracaibo sits at its rightful top position as the location with the highest concentration of lightning. As the static electricity discharges, it produces the strikes of lightning. [11], Between 1966 and 1970, Russian researcher Andrei Zavrotsky investigated the area three times, with assistance from the University of the Andes. Italian geographer Agustin Codazzi described it in 1841 as "like a continuous lightning, and its position such that, located almost on the meridian of the mouth of the lake, it directs the navigators as a lighthouse. For almost two decades, the satellite in the orbit of Earth has been collecting data on meteorological phenomena. Do you like storms? It is the phenomenon of continuous lightning for over 9 hours a day, 300 days a year over lake Maracaibo in Venezuela where it meets river Catatumbo. As the one place on Earth that has the most lightning, Maracabio Lake in Venezuela, is the topic for this weather wise segment. Here lightning flashes over 20,000 times a night for 10 hours straight during about 160 days out of the year. Universidad del Zulia. Almost 300 nights a year, a lightning storm rages in a small part of Venezuela. The light from the thunder is used as an alternative to a lighthouse by local ships. Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) is a satellite project of NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. You will only be able to see this event in Venezuela where the Catatumbo River empties into Lake Maracaibo. 20 p. Albrecht, R., et al., 2011. The phenomenon has been known for centuries as the "Lighthouse of Maracaibo", since it is visible for miles around Lake Maracaibo. Atmos. The only apparent unique characteristic of this phemonemon is that the storms form and persist in the same place night after night. ", World's first seasonal lightning forecast, Storm Chaser George Kourounis Investigates the Catatumbo Lightning Phenomenon, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Catatumbo_lightning&oldid=1000685728, CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown, Articles containing Spanish-language text, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2020, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from August 2020, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 16 January 2021, at 06:20. See the links below the 12-day Maracaibo weather forecast table for other cities and towns nearby along with weather conditions for local outdoor activities. A bove the wetlands of the south-western part of Lake Maracaibo there can be observed an unforgettable sight – powerful and nearly continuous thunderstorm with up to 20,000 flashes of lightning per night. With some delay, we can hear the thunder: a shock wave of sound created when the heat of the lightning compresses the surrounding air. The 13 years of TRMM Lightning Imaging Sensor: from individual flash characteristics to decadal tendencies. [clarification needed] Other studies have indicated that this model is contradicted by the observed behaviour of the lightning, as it would predict that there would be more lightning in the dry season (January–February), and less in the wet season (April–May and September–October). What is the Catatumbo Lightning? Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela is the place on Earth that receives the most lightning strikes. For example, it ceased from January to March 2010, apparently due to drought, leading to speculation that it might have been extinguished permanently. Lake Maracaibo is surrounded by mountains on three sides, which traps warm and moist air flowing in from the equator and condenses it into clouds with enormous electrical energy. On a good night, shortly after dusk, the lightning strikes Lake Maracaibo or jumps in between the clouds up to twenty-eight times a minute. : temperatures, precipitation, sunshine, Clouds, Maracaibo Venezuela Centro de Modelado Científico (CMC). Muñoz, Á.G., Núñez, A., Chourio, X., Díaz-Lobatón, J., Márquez, R., Moretto, P., Juárez, M., Casanova, V., Quintero, A., Zurita, D., Colmenares, V., Vargas, L., Salcedo, M.L., Padrón, R., Contreras, L., Parra, H., Vaughan, C., Smith, D., 2015: Reporte Final de la Expedición Catatumbo: Abril 2015. [3], The lightning changes its frequency throughout the year, and it is different from year to year. Live weather reports from Maracaibo weather stations and weather warnings that include risk of thunder, high UV index and forecast gales. Humidity has been thought to have played a role, as the longest recorded pause of lightning activity, in 2010, coincided with a severe drought in Venezuela caused by an El Niño weather event. [12], Between 1997 and 2000, a series of four studies proposed that the methane produced by the swamps and the mass oil deposits in the area was a major cause of the phenomenon. If you do, there is a perfect place for you. The phenomenon is known variously as the Beacon of Maracaibo, Catatumbo lightning or – cue dramatic roll of thunder - the “everlasting storm”. Also sometimes referred to as Venezuela's "eternal thunderstorm," the Catatumbo Lightning doesn't actually fire nonstop, but for at least a few centuries, it has occurred around 150 times per year. [clarification needed][20][21][14], A 2016 study showed that it is possible to forecast lightning in the Lake Maracaibo basin up to a few months in advance, based in the variability of the Lake Maracaibo Low-Level Jet and its interactions with predictable climate modes like the ENSO and the Caribbean Low-Level Jet. The storms are the most spectacular at the peak of the wet season around October and take a break mainly in the dryer months of January and February. Prospects for the weekend at Maracaibo. Reporte público The collision of temperatures is the essential recipe for a thunderstorm. XIV Int. The temperature can be hotter than the surface of the Sun! Its Lightning Image Sensor has been tracking and recording flashes of light to produce the map of the lightning "top spots.". "Phenomena – A science salon hosted by National Geographic Magazine", http://cmc.org.ve/portal/archivo.php?archivo=241, "Where are the lightning hotspots on Earth? [13] The methane model is based on symmetry properties of the methane. And indeed, the Catatumbo region is surrounded by a wall of Andes in the shape of a letter V. The current hypothesis is that the mountains capture the enormous quantities of water evaporating off the lake each day under the equatorial sun and the warm trade winds blowing in off the Caribbean. In northwest Venezuela, at the place where Lake Maracaibo meets the Catatumbo River, lightning occurs, on average, twenty-eight times per minute for up to nine hours each day after dusk, for around 300 days a year, accompanied by a storm. All maps, graphics, flags, photos and original descriptions © 2021 worldatlas.com, The Beacon of Maracaibo: The Home Of The Lightning Storms, Places In The World Where Lightning Strikes The Most, The Five Most Lightning Prone States In The United States, Worst Storms of All Time - The Ground Blizzard of 1977, The Causes And Effects Of Ocean Pollution. km every single year. This place is just above a swampy patch of Northwestern Venezuela, where the river Catatumbo meets with lake Maracaibo.Catatumbo lightning appears almost every night with average 28 lightning strikes per minute and up to 10 hours at a time. More than 15,000 miles of gas and oil pipelines run across the lake floor. Weather; The most electric place on Earth. Universidad del Zulia. Catatumbo Lightning (Weather-Phenomena) A very fierce windstorm mixed with thunderstorm which can be observed over and around Lake Maracaibo. Each year, over 1.2 million bolts of lightning are confined to the mouth of the Catatumbo River - the single highest concentration of lightning in the world. However, locals warn the unsuspecting tourists that the area is still under some unrest and militant groups from time to time, so you need to be cautious and have an experienced guide with you to enjoy this spectacular natural wonder safely. That's as many as 40,000 lightning strikes in one night! Surrounded by mountains in three directions, and open to the warm & unstable air that sits above the Caribbean Sea, Venezuela's Lake Maracaibo is the "Lightning Capital Of The World". If you are looking for the most electrified place on Earth, look no further than the Lake Maracaibo region located in northwest Venezuela. Catatumbo lightning, as the phenomenon is called, is as spectacular as it sounds, appearing 5 days out of 6, for hours, with up to nearly 30 lightning strikes per minute! "Catatumbo lightning" refers to continuous (high frequency) lightning from a near-daily thunderstorm complex that forms in the Lago de Maracaibo/Catatumbo River region in northern Venezuela, South America. Brazil. The exact reason why this phenomenon occurs, or the model of the Catatumbo "perfect storm" have not necessarily been uncovered yet, so we caution you to take the following information with a grain of salt. On average, 140 to 160 nights per year see massive thunderstorm complexes move through that produce around 28 lightning strikes per minute, for several hours at a time. Catatumbo lightning (Spanish: Relámpago del Catatumbo)[1] is an atmospheric phenomenon which occurs over the mouth of the Catatumbo River where it empties into Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela. 5. Check the current conditions for Maracaibo, Zulia, Venezuela for the day ahead, with radar, hourly, and up to the minute forecasts. The lightning produces a great quantity of ozone though its instability makes it unlikely that it has any effect on the ozonosphere. Find the most current and reliable 7 day weather forecasts, storm alerts, reports and information for [city] with The Weather Network. In 1991 he suggested that the phenomenon occurred due to cold and warm air currents meeting around the area. Forecast to 10 days ahead for Maracaibo. [22], Coordinates: 9°20′39″N 71°42′38″W / 9.34417°N 71.71056°W / 9.34417; -71.71056 (Approximate center), CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (. This storm has 1 million lightning strikes a year. At no other place on our planet, so much lightning concentrates in one spot, and so regularly. 4. There are 250 lightning strikes per sq. In contrast, locations in Central Africa and Northwestern South America have large amounts of lightning throughout the entire year. “It struck me like a bolt of lightning!” This phrase and others like it refer to the sudden, unpredictable and powerful force that is a lightning bolt, a somewhat rare and awe-inspiring site. The lightning is caused by closed wind circulation. A lightning bolt fractures the night sky. Our next post is on Catatumbo lightning to add to our series on peculiar weather phenomenon. It's so silent that the thunder from it cannot be heard. Description. Maracaibo basin is on top of one of South America's largest oil fields. Massive thunderstorms occur on 140-160 nights per year with an average of 28 lightning strikes per minute lasting up to 10 hours at a time. Wings of phosphorescent pink unfold to illuminate Lake Maracaibo, a brackish bay that opens north to the Caribbean Sea. The storms ease off in the dryer months of January and February and are most spectacular at … At the junction of Catatumbo River and Lake Maracaibo, a Venezuelan bay at the tip of the South American continent, there is an average of 233 flashes of lightning per square kilometre per year. The phenomenon gained a poetic name "Beacon of Maracaibo" for its significance for navigation, and the river is known as a "river of fire.".

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