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2019 lightning record set on France's stormy Friday

... but the number of lightning strikes was still way below the overall high set in 1999

12 August 2019
By Connexion journalist

A tornado that injured damaged properties in northeast France and injured 16 people in neighbouring Luxembourg on Friday caught the headlines - but it was just the start of a record-breaking day for the weather in France.

A 2019 lightning record was set in France on Friday. The Keraunos storm monitoring observatory detected 85,217 flashes on Friday, beating the year's previous high of 73,700 - set on July 6.

In 24 hours, from noon on Friday, August 9, to noon Saturday, August 10, Météo France's Météorage network recorded 146,242 electrical discharges over France.

A 'flash' refers to any electrical activity in the air. Météo France also records "cloud-to-ground lightning flashes", or lightning strikes. It counted 10,000 strikes on Friday - a significant figure, but well below the one-day record of 60,335 strikes set on August 6, 1999.

There are an average of 470,000 lightning strikes a year in France, according to the national forecaster.

Météorage has not revealed the number of strikes in France so far this year, but it has revealed that the figure so far is well down on a record-breaking 2018, when nearly 725,000 impacts were recorded - including 182,127 in May alone - the highest number in 30 years.

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