Photo: Prensa Corzutur. Various flora species are indigenous to the area, and local native fa… There is a new global lightning hot spot. by beatriceg. The Catatumbo lightning has been observed for centuries over Lake Maracaibo. In the south of Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela has a unique natural phenomenon in the world: The Catatumbo Lightning. It is located in northwestern Venezuela about ten degrees north of the equator. The NASA study gave results that are somewhat hard to understand, but we can do some math to figure them out. 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. 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. It is surrounded by mountains on three sides. One small area in northern South America is clearly the world's principal lightning hotspot. Image by NASA. Muñoz and his team wanted to do better. The exact reason for such high electrical activity in the region is not yet known. Here, you'll find a phenomenon known as the Catatumbo Lightning. It is connected to the Gulf of Venezuela by Tablazo Strait which … Lightning strikes over Lake Maracaibo in Congo Mirador village. By Oishimaya Sen Nag on April 25 2017 in Environment. 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 is the largest lake in South America, with a surface area of 13,210 square kilometers. There are also paramo forests, deciduous forests, moist forests, montane forests, and savannas in the surrounding region. Lake Maracaibo is notorious for its never-ending storms. 260 storm days a year are experienced in the region, generating almost 1.2 million lightning strikes per year. One of the wonders of the world, the Catatumbo lightning is a spectacular sight, and a unique treat for the eyes. 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. 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 disappearance of the lightning was apparently due to an El Niño event during this time, which was responsible for a severe drought in Venezuela, when rainfall was extremely scanty and rivers nearly completely dried up. 1. Enlarge image. It is named after the Catatumbo River, which enters Lake Maracaibo on its southern shore. There are 250 lightning strikes per sq. The satellite carried a sensor to monitor the frequency and geographic distribution of lightning in Earth’s atmosphere. Local people have called this phenomenon "Relámpago del Catatumbo" (Catatumbo lightning) for hundreds of years. The hills warm faster than the lake, and divergent winds move across the surface of the lake towards the land. The fastest killer doesn't come from the ground, it comes from the sky. 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. 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. 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. Lake Maracaibo is the largest lake in South America, with a surface area of 13,210 square kilometers. This "Catatumbo Lightning" is seen nowhere else in the world. The lake is named after the city Maracaibo, which lies on the east side of this channel. 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. When rainy season sets in Venezuela, clouds thicken and lightnings start playing in the sky illuminating the whole west region. Local people call this phenomenon "Relámpago del Catatumbo" (Catatumbo lightning). 11/13/2020 - 06:52. in . 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. If you do, there is a perfect place for you. The only time the Catatumbo lightning disappeared for an extended period of time in the previous century was in 1906, when it vanished for nearly three weeks. Don't just look at the lake from the park shore in Maracaibo. 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. 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. "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. A table listing the world's top ten hotspots accompanies this article. Related:   Global Maps of Lightning Activity. Around the world, lightning is forecast only a few hours, and at best, days in advance. 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 remaining forests of Maracaibo are the dry forests found along its northern coasts. Lake Maracaibo has a unique geography and climate, that favours very frequent formation of thunderstorms. The Catatumbo lightning has been observed for centuries over Lake Maracaibo. It originates from a mass of storm clouds at a height of more than 1 km, and occurs during 260 nights a … Get out in the middle for a few days and witness the lightning wonder! However, some regions and even small areas have exceptional amounts of lightning. 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. Some of the early data from the satellite was used to create global maps of lightning activity. Lake Maracaibo is also famous for the historic battle of Lake of Maracaibo that consolidated the independence of Venezuela from Spain. Lake Maracaibo is considered the "Lightning Capital of the World." These maps revealed that the geographic distribution of lightning is not uniform across the Earth. It is connected to the Gulf of Venezuela by Tablazo Strait, which is 5.5 kilometres wide at the northern end. Efforts are also being made to declare the site as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 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. A detailed report of their work was published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela, is the unofficial lightning capital of the world. According to NASA, Lake Maracaibo averaged 603 bolts of lightning per square mile per year. An atmospheric event that occurs where the Catatumbo River enters the Lake Maracaibo became known as Catatumbo lightning. For six weeks beginning in January of that year, no signs of the lightning events were observed in the skies over the Lake Maracaibo. Don't just look at the lake from the park shore in Maracaibo. The lightning is centered above the mouth of the river. Where are the lightning hotspots on Earth. 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