Record Amount Of Thunder And Lightning Over Iceland These Past Few Days - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Record Amount Of Thunder And Lightning Over Iceland These Past Few Days

Published July 31, 2019

Andie Fontaine
Photos by
Mike Lehmann, Mike Switzerland/Wikimedia Commons

Once an uncommon phenomenon, Iceland has been inundated with lightning strikes since last weekend, and the reported strikes have reached an all new level.

Austurfrétt reports that these lightning strikes were especially prominent in the east, with a greater concentration in the southeast. The site of the Icelandic Met Office shows an incredible concentration of thunder and lightning in the early morning hours of Tuesday in particular.

In all, there were a whopping 1,818 lightning strikes in just the 24 hours following early Tuesday morning. This marks the greatest recorded number of strikes since measurements of them began in earnest in 1998.

The strikes occurring in the east is telling. While thunder and lightning require cold air meeting warm air to happen, unusually high temperatures have covered the country this summer, and the east is traditionally the warmest in the summer.

Lightning in Iceland is not as uncommon as people think. In recent years especially, stormy weather with warm temperatures therefore created conditions ripe for lightning.

Numerous recordings of lightning strikes in Iceland have accumulated over the years, capturing strikes both on the mainland and the Westman Islands, and on one occasion at least, lightning striking an airplane was also captured on video.

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