MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Sunday nights storm brought a light show Minnesotans don’t often get a chance to witness. Lightning flashed and thunder struck every few seconds for hours.
So, why did the lightning come so fast and last so long? Good Question.
“These were efficient lightning producers. And, when I say efficient, we’re talking one to two flashes every second,” said WCCO Meteorologist Mike Augustyniak.
For lightning to form, there needs to be ice in the clouds. When these pieces of ice rub against each other, they make the static electricity that becomes lightning.
Augustyniak says there was a lot of ice in the clouds last night because of the strength of the updraft – the moist, warm air that fuels the storm. He also points out there thunderstorms were tall.
“The combination of how deep the cloud was, how warm and moist the ground was, how cold the tops of the clouds were – it was the perfect ingredient, perfect recipe to create a lot of lightning,” he said.
As for why the storm lasted so long, Augustyniak says this thunderstorm was slow-moving. Most storms like these move at 35 to 50 mph. This one moved at 20 mph.