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Violent thunderstorms hit parts of southwestern France on July 4, 2018, producing a total of 36 605 lightning strikes in 24 hours. This is the worst day in terms of lightning strikes in France so far this year, breaking the previous record of 33 841 strikes recorded on May 28, 2018, according to Meteo France.
In just four days (July 1 - 4), Meteo France registered approximately 87 000 lightning strikes across the country, which represents more than half of the 'normal' July lightning strikes.
Hier a été le jour le plus foudroyé de l'année en métropole avec 36 605 impacts de foudre (devant le 28 mai 2018 - 33 841 impacts) ! pic.twitter.com/dAy5PIHdZK— Météo-France (@meteofrance) July 5, 2018
En 4 jours (du 1er au 4 juillet 2018) il y a eu environ 87 000 impacts de foudre, ce qui représente plus de la moitié des impacts de foudre d'un mois de juillet "normal" !— Météo-France (@meteofrance) July 5, 2018
28 departments were placed on Orange alert, the second highest warning: Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Hautes-Pyrénées, Haute-Garonne, Ariège, Landes, Gers, Gironde, Lot-et-Garonne, Tarn-et-Garonne, Tarn, Aveyron, Lot, Dordogne, Charente, Charente-Maritime, Haute-Vienne, Corrèze, Cantal, Indre, Creuse, Puy-de-Dôme, Haute-Loire, Loire, Allier, Cher, Nièvre, Saône-et-Loire and Rhône.
Very large hail, up to 7 cm (2.7 inches) in diameter accompanied the storm, causing major damage to homes, vehicles and crops.
The storms followed a period of hot and humid weather, with maximum temperatures between 30 °C and 33 °C (86 - 91.4 °F). "It will be very sudden and often violent with wind gusts often reaching 80 km/h - 100 km/h (50 - 62 mph) and 130 km/h (81 mph) locally," Meteo France said before the storm.
Featured image: Spectacular lightning video captured over Ambérieu-en-Bugey, France by Jonas Piontek on July 4, 2018.
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