80,000 Lightning Strikes Hit Italy in 24 Hours

Mon, 09/19/2011 - 01:34

In the last 24 hours, 80,000 lightning strikes have fallen in northern Italy, almost one sixth of the yearly total in a single day. The event more than doubles the previous record of 40,000 lightning bolts that fell on a single day in 2004.

A combination of warm, moist air combined with a cold front from Greenland and a storm over the Atlantic resulted in the spectacular display of electric activity.

The intense day of lightning has claimed the death of at least one man. Cristiano Toscano was watching a football match under a gazebo in Bergamo when he stepped away for a cigarette. When he didn’t return after ten minutes, worried friends searched for the 40-year-old man but found him already dead of a direct lightning strike.