Some places in the world are well known for lightning strikes, but the North Pole is not one of them. Generally, warmer areas show increased signs of lightning storms. But last Saturday puzzling lightning strikes hit the North Pole.
The North Pole has had its share of odd things this summer. There have been intense wildfires and a heatwave that was responsible for melting ice in the billions of tons.
Sensors that were placed 300 miles from the North Pole detected the lightning activity. The thunderstorms were so out of place that the National Weather Service in Fairbanks, Alaska went on the internet to let the world know.
Formation of the thunderstorms
A weather forecast animation has been created that shows the formation of the thunderstorms. In the presentation, there are multiple layers of clouds, stacked on top of each other to form the storm.
A massive grey plume can be seen approaching from the north-west. Siberian wildfires have caused this. The smoke cloud is so large that it has been able to cover an area which is 60 percent the size of the US.
The infrared view of the map shows cloud formations reaching an altitude of 7.5 miles. This height is usually reserved for summer thunderstorms that take place in warmer climates. Other than the warmth of the climate, these storms prefer moist air that is also unstable in its ascent.
Lightning strikes hit the North Pole
Thunderstorms are most common in regions closest to the equator. It has also been recorded that storms tend to happen more over land than over the ocean. The thunderstorms from last Saturday took place over the ice sheet.
Open waters were present at a relatively close distance from the storms. The water could have helped the thunderstorms along with providing warmer temperatures as surface temperatures are warmer than usual at the North Pole, even for August.