Published On: Thu, Jul 23rd, 2015

Catatumbo lightning: The light and sound show by mother nature

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Catatumbo lightning: The Perpetual Thunderstorm

If you are a fan of light and sound shows then you must visit Venezuela where there is a place which witnesses lightning storms for between 200 to 300 days a year. The storm produces an average of 28 strikes of lightning per minute for up to 10 hours at a time, sometimes unleashing up to 3,600 bolts of lightning per hour, or roughly one per second during particularly explosive displays, If you are rattled with just a few thunder sounds spare a thought for the locals who face upwards of 40,000 lightning strikes a night.

“Catatumbo lightning” refers to continuous (high frequency) lightning from which occurs only over the mouth of the Catatumbo River where it empties into Lake Maracaibo South America. The only apparent unique characteristic of this phemonemon is that the storms form and persist in the same place night after night.

The Catatumbo lightning usually develops between the coordinates 8°30′N 71°0′W and 9°45′N 73°0′W. The storms (and associated lightning) are likely the result of the winds blowing across the Maracaibo Lake and surrounding swampy plains. The Catatumbo lightning phenomenon has been well known for centuries. Natives of the region once referred to it as rib a-ba, or the “river of fire,” and revered it as a sign from the gods.

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