More than 9,500 lightning strikes hit France on Monday (March 13), a figure not seen on a single day in March since records began 35 years ago.
Monitoring service Météorage recorded the strikes, which numbered 9,549, beating the previous record of 9,134 in March 2001.
#orages RECORD ⚡ @Meteorage__ indique que 9.549 impacts de #foudre ont frappé le sol français hier 13 mars 2023 (en 24h), du jamais vu si tôt dans la saison ! Le record de mars 2001 sur 31 jours (9.134 impacts) a été battu !! Le début des mesures https://t.co/RiyWsJDSeX... https://t.co/ogKYYfTIQS pic.twitter.com/LHVqGolbzb— Guillaume Séchet (@Meteovilles) March 14, 2023
The French storm observatory, Keraunos, said Monday was “the stormiest day of the previous 15 years”. A statement on its website read: “The indicator of storm severity was at 19.7 for the day of March 13, 2023, which makes it the stormiest day since the start of our data in 2009.”
The cause of such weather unrest is “significant instability for the first 15 days of March, between the Pyrenees and the northeast of France”.
As well as the lightning strikes, the weather caused “hailstones, sometimes reaching three or four centimetres in diameter”, as well as “strong gusts of wind, between 80 and 110 km/h”.
Meanwhile, villagers in Pontarion, central France, captured a tornado on camera.
There have also been significantly fluctuating temperatures, with unseasonal highs in some areas and unexpected snowfall in others.
Impressionnante vidéo de la #tornade ayant touché le secteur de Pontarion dans le departement de la Creuse (23) vers 17h cet après-midi. Crédit: Jean-Marc Velleine, avec sa permission. pic.twitter.com/7XuonxKfrN— Nahel Belgherze (@WxNB_) March 9, 2023
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