Efforts are also being made to declare the site as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. According to NASA, Lake Maracaibo averaged 603 bolts of lightning per square mile per year. The lightning is such a source of local pride that Zulia, one of Venezuela's 23 states, boasts about the Relámpago del Catatumbo by displaying lightning bolts on its flag and coat of arms. Die Catatumbo-Gewitter (spanisch Relámpago del Catatumbo) sind ein Wetterphänomen, das sich während 140 bis 160 Nächten im Jahr nahe der Mündung des Río Catatumbo (daher der Name) in den Maracaibo-See in Venezuela ereignet. A detailed report of their work was published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. "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. Image by NASA. Unlike any other place, lighting storms reoccur here extremely often—half of the nights in a year if to be more precise. Enlarge image. Lake Maracaibo is the largest lake in South America, with a surface area of 13,210 square kilometers. The satellite carried a sensor to monitor the frequency and geographic distribution of lightning in Earth’s atmosphere. The Rafael Urdaneta Bridge Categories World Tags battle of maracaibo , catatumbo lighting , catatumbo river , lake maracaibo , maracaibo basin , venezuela oil reserves Leave a comment Post navigation In the south of Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela has a unique natural phenomenon in the world: The Catatumbo Lightning. Everything you should know about Catatumbo's lethal lightning . That means that the area experiences an average of 232.52 flashes of lightning per square kilometer per year. Lightning hotspot over Lake Maracaibo. An 8.8-magnitude earthquake that triggered a tsunami was considered to be associated with the disappearance of the Catatumbo lightning during this time. The Maracaibo Lake is one of the areas with the greatest oil wealth in the world with more than 15,000 wells drilled in its basin since 1914. Through the day, the lake and the surrounding hills are heated by the sun. In 1997, NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency launched the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite to study rainfall and associated atmospheric phenomena. The NASA study gave results that are somewhat hard to understand, but we can do some math to figure them out. They do not come close to rivaling its lightning activity. The exact reason for such high electrical activity in the region is not yet known. All maps, graphics, flags, photos and original descriptions © 2021 worldatlas.com, Places In The World Where Lightning Strikes The Most, The Causes And Effects Of Ocean Pollution. The lake is named after the city Maracaibo, which lies on the east side of this channel. The remaining forests of Maracaibo are the dry forests found along its northern coasts. When rainy season sets in Venezuela, clouds thicken and lightnings start playing in the sky illuminating the whole west region. Don't just look at the lake from the park shore in Maracaibo. Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela, is the unofficial lightning capital of the world. Lake Maracaibo is the largest lake in South America, with a surface area of 13,210 square kilometers. The waters are very warm throughout the year, normally between 28 and 31 degrees Celsius (82 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit). Venezuela's Lake Maracaibo sits at its rightful top position as the location with the highest concentration of lightning. It is best viewed from the south end where pollution has not ruined the lake, and approach via Puerto Concha. This electric spot, where the Catatumbo River empties into Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela’s far northwest, is believed to be the most lightning-struck place on earth. 260 storm days a year are experienced in the region, generating almost 1.2 million lightning strikes per year. That means in an area one mile long by one mile wide (one square mile), this lake saw an average of more than 600 lightning strikes a year. Lightning strikes over Lake Maracaibo in Congo Mirador village. Lake Maracaibo is the largest lake in South America, with a surface area of 13,210 square kilometers. Here, nocturnal thunderstorms occur on average about 297 days per year and produce an average of about 232 lightning flashes / square kilometer / year. Topography and Lightning: The Lake Maracaibo basin is located between the most northern ridges of the Andes Mountain Range. There is a new global lightning hot spot. So you think you know everything about lightning? In the north, a channel 55 km long connects it to the Carribean Sea. It is best viewed from the south end where pollution has not ruined the lake, and approach via Puerto Concha. Several hypothesis have been put forward to explain the phenomena. If you do, there is a perfect place for you. This topographic configuration contributes to the abundant lightning over the lake. There are 250 lightning strikes per sq. In addition to Venezuela and Democratic Republic of the Congo, locations in Colombia, Pakistan, and Cameroon are in the world's top ten lightning hotspots. Experts also claim that the high rates of deforestation seen in the lands around the River Catatumbo have added volumes of silt and sediments into the Lake Maracaibo, which could also potentially reduce the frequency of such lightning strikes in the region in the future. by beatriceg. Get out in the middle for a few days and witness the lightning wonder! That’s … Whether that happens or not, tourists from all over the world will still visit Venezuela to view the world’s most naturally electric spot, and return back home with etched memories of the sights of the “everlasting storm” of Venezuela's Lake Maracaibo. It is often called a lake rather than a bay or lagoon. An atmospheric event that occurs where the Catatumbo River enters the Lake Maracaibo became known as Catatumbo lightning. It is sometimes considered a lake rather than a bay or lagoon. One of the richest and most centrally situated petroleum-producing areas in the world is Lake Maracaibo. Using 16 years of lightning data, researchers were able to scan the earth for areas of intense lightning activity at a resolution of 0.1 degree. That hotspot is located over the southern end of Lake Maracaibo, a brackish bay in northwestern Venezuela. [1]   Data from the sensor revealed that Earth produces about 44 flashes of lightning per second on an annual basis, with a maximum of about 55 flashes per second during the boreal summer and a minimum of about 35 flashes per second in the austral summer. At 13,210 square kilometres it was once the largest lake in South America; the geological record shows that it was a true lake in the past, and as such is one of the old Lea en Español. Lake Maracaibo is notorious for its never-ending storms. By Oishimaya Sen Nag on April 25 2017 in Environment. The only apparent unique characteristic of this phemonemon is that the storms form and persist in the same place night after night. It is named after the Catatumbo River, which enters Lake Maracaibo on its southern shore. Lake Maracaibo (Spanish: Lago de Maracaibo) is a large brackish tidal bay (or tidal estuary) in Venezuela.It is an "inlet of the Caribbean Sea". The high strike rates of lightning over Lake Maracaibo earned it a position in the Guinness Book of World Records for the “highest recorded concentration of lightning". Lake Maracaibo is considered the "Lightning Capital of the World." Some of the early data from the satellite was used to create global maps of lightning activity. Then at night, the land cools faster than the lake, and winds reverse to converge across the surface of the lake. Lake Maracaibo: How Much Lightning? [2]. It is located in northwestern Venezuela about ten degrees north of the equator. The main epicentrum of splashes - mouth of the Catatumbo River (hence the name of the lightening) that is in the south west of the lake. Another hypothesis was that methane released from the oil fields in the region could also be responsible for the Catatumbo lightnings. Even though previously the mountain village of Kifuka in the Democratic Republic of Congo in Central Africa was know to be the most electric place on Earth, with 158 lightning flashes per square kilometer each year, the Catatumbo lightning has surpassed this figure with 250 lightning flashes per square kilometer each year. Muñoz and his team wanted to do better. This map was created by Norman Einstein and is used here under a GNU Free Document License. When his family moved to Lake Maracaibo four years later, the epicenter of that eternal storm, he met close-up what would become a lifelong passion: the Catatumbo Lightning. The Catatumbo lightning has been observed for centuries over Lake Maracaibo. How to do? Around the world, lightning is forecast only a few hours, and at best, days in advance. A night watchman in the city noticed silhouettes of Drake's ships illuminated by the lightning and notified the Spanish garrison stationed in the city, and with that advance warning, they were able to foil the attack. In Venezuela, at the mouth of the Catatumbo River where it meets the Lake Maracaibo, a unique and impressive natural phenomenon, variously known as the "Catatumbo lightning", the "Beacon of Maracaibo" or the “Everlasting Storm”, captures the eyes and attention of all observers there to witness it. The Relámpago del Catatumbo, Spanish for Catatumbo lighting, takes place over the area where the Catatumbo River empties into Lake Maracaibo. Lea en Español. It is surrounded by mountains on three sides. Lightning strikes over Lake Maracaibo in the village of Congo Mirador, where the Catatumbo River feeds into the lake, in the western state of Zulia October 22, 2014. Lake Maracaibo is a large brackish tidal bay in Venezuela and an "inlet of the Caribbean Sea". The lightning hotspot is centered on the south end of the lake, where nocturnal thunderstorms produce lightning an average of about 297 nights per year. Where are the lightning hotspots on Earth. 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. The Catatumbo lightning events are like no other phenomenon in the world. This area has a lightning flash rate density of 232.52. Furthermore, it should be noted that this lightning is also unique in that it occurs in the ozone of the troposphere instead of from typical storm clouds. Start This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale. The lightning is an atmospheric phenomenon which only occurs in Venezuela, over the mouth of the Catatumbo River where it empties into Lake Maracaibo. Dabei treten blitzreiche Gewitter mit großer Regelmäßigkeit immer wieder über dem gleichen Gebiet auf. This "Catatumbo Lightning" is seen nowhere else in the world. This brought the global distribution of lightning activity into very clear focus. Though the Catatumbo lightning returned back to the region in April of 2010, there were fears that such an event of its disappearance is going to become more frequent in the future due to the looming threat of climatic change all over the world. The spectacular lightning storm occurs during as many as 300 nights in a given year, for up to 10 hours per day and includes as many as 300 lighting … It is connected to the Gulf of Venezuela by Tablazo Strait which … Here, you'll find a phenomenon known as the Catatumbo Lightning. The Catatumbo lightning has been observed for centuries over Lake Maracaibo. You can watch lightning strike over Lake Maracaibo for 10 hours in a row. Lake Maracaibo is within the scope of WikiProject Lakes, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of lake-related articles on Wikipedia, using the tools on the project page.If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks. Sailors call the lightning "Faro de Maracaibo" or "The Beacon of Maracaibo" because, like a lighthouse, the flashes can be clearly seen from the Gulf of Venezuela and on some clear nights, out into the Caribbean. Here, the night sky is regularly illuminated for nine hours at a time, with lightning striking the sky at the rate of about 28 strikes per minute. Well, unless you happen to live in Venezuela – specifically, the part of Venezuela where the Catatumbo River empties into Lake Maracaibo. They were able to identify and rank small areas of Earth that generated the greatest amount of lightning during the 1998 to 2013 observation period. This pattern causes nocturnal convection above the lake and produces recurrent thunder and lightning above the lake. Enlarge image. It originates from a mass of storm clouds at a height of more than 1 km, and occurs during 260 nights a … 1. Don't just look at the lake from the park shore in Maracaibo. According to statistic data, there are around 250 lighting strikes per square kilometres per year. Get out in the middle for a few days and witness the lightning wonder! The epic poem, "La Dragonetea" tells the story of how, in 1595, ships under the command of Sir Francis Drake attempted a night surprise attack on the Spanish colonial city of Maracaibo. The lake has it's challenges with pollution and the ever-present weed. [1] These maps revealed that the geographic distribution of lightning is not uniform across the Earth. The locals in the area are often alarmed when the lightning stops, even if for a while, as the lightnings have become such a regular part of their daily life, acting like a natural lighthouse guiding their direction in the darkness. The first productive well was drilled in 1917, and a 65-mile (105-km) strip along the eastern shore, reaching 20 miles (32 km) out into the lake, has come to include the productive area. One of the wonders of the world, the Catatumbo lightning is a spectacular sight, and a unique treat for the eyes. However, as of yet, in the absence of sufficient proof, it is though that a combination of various factors, including the land topography and wind patterns, could be responsible for the everlasting storm. To illustrate how the Lake Maracaibo hotspot is in a class of its own, the second and third place hotspots had flash rate densities of 205.31 (Kabare, Democratic Republic of the Congo) and 176.71 (Kampene, Democratic Republic of the Congo). This phenomenon of great importance for conservation, since it contributes to the regeneration of the ozone layer, consists of a series of silent and large lightnings, some reaching 10km in height, which have their origin in the basin of the Catatumbo river. In the 1960s, it was believed that the high volumes of uranium deposits in the bedrock of the region could attract lightning strikes to the lake. 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. Lake Maracaibo (Spanish: Lago de Maracaibo) is a large brackish tidal bay (or tidal estuary) in Venezuela and an “inlet of the Caribbean Sea.” It is sometimes considered a lake rather than a bay or lagoon. Lake Maracaibo has a unique geography and climate, that favours very frequent formation of thunderstorms. It is fed by numerous rivers, the largest being the Catatumbo. There, lightning strikes occur, on average, 300 days a year. Photo: Prensa Corzutur. [2]. This storm has 1 million lightning strikes a year. For six weeks beginning in January of that year, no signs of the lightning events were observed in the skies over the Lake Maracaibo. According to a recent scientific study, the new lightning capital of the world is Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela. It's the world's lighting capital and the most electrified place on Earth. The lightning is so consistent—occurring 300 days a year at the same time and in the same area, where the Catatumbo River meets Lake Maracaibo—it has earned its own proper name, Catatumbo Lightning. There are also paramo forests, deciduous forests, moist forests, montane forests, and savannas in the surrounding region. A table listing the world's top ten hotspots accompanies this article. Do you like storms? The lake serves as a tourist destination for its 10-hour tropospheric ozone lightning storms that occur between 140 and 160 nights a year, with their three-mile-long lightning bolts. Lake Maracaibo: The world's top lightning hotspot is over Lake Maracaibo in northwestern Venezuela. Lake Maracaibo is also famous for the historic battle of Lake of Maracaibo that consolidated the independence of Venezuela from Spain.