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The Everlasting Storm

Creation on Display

on January 1, 2014
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Map of Venezuela

Lightning storms occur repeatedly in Venezuela over the marshlands at Lake Maracaibo at the mouth of the Catatumbo River.

If lightning never strikes the same place twice, it’s running out of options on the Catatumbo River in Venezuela, South America. Every night for up to 160 nights a year, thunderstorms form above the river where it flows into Lake Maracaibo. And they stick around. The storms can produce a whopping 280 lightning flashes per hour, and last for ten hours each night. Some estimates are even higher—as many as 40,000 strikes per night.

Scientists are not sure exactly why storms persist over this small area, night after night, but the likely culprit is the region’s topography. Lake Maracaibo is surrounded on three sides by mountains. Each evening, winds drive the humid air hanging over the lakes up the mountain slopes. There the air comes into contact with dry, cold air, where it becomes extremely unstable, sparking huge thunderclouds and lightning. The winds fuel the dazzling show throughout the night.

This time-lapse photo illuminates our Creator’s power and shouts His praise.

Storm

Photo: Chris Kotsiopoulos

This photo sequence contains nearly 70 strikes of lightning. To get this photo, the photographer positioned his camera on a tripod and took one photo every 20 seconds continuously for 83 minutes. The series of photos were then compiled and edited into one image.

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