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Quirky Weather Patterns Behind Region's Lightning Overload

Connecticut, USA
Meteorologists blame an UNUSUAL WEATHER PATTERN for the increase in the frequency and potency of the neighborhood-shaking thunder-and-lightning storms the region has experienced over the last couple of months. Technicians have seen an increase in computer problems consistent with lightning strikes and power surges. There have been 7,579 lightning strokes in New London County in 2008 through Monday. That's almost 6,000 strokes over last year's total, when 1,600 lightning strokes occurred during the same time period. A stroke is a series of electrical discharges comprising a single lightning discharge. A flash of lightning may contain one or a few tens of strokes. This year, an upper-level pool of cold air has made its way down from Canada and the Arctic and settled over the region, helping to create the storms. ”It's a VERY, VERY UNUSUAL PATTERN for this time of year. It's UNUSUAL that it lasted this long.” The pool of cold air has pushed the jet stream down near the Mason-Dixon Line in Georgia. Typically, at this time of year, the jet stream flows along the Canadian border.

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