Istanbul region hit by 43,388 lightning strikes
Huge thunderclouds caused an electric storm in Turkey’s Marmara region, particularly hitting Istanbul with thousands of lightning bolts in the early hours of July 24.
In total 43,388 flashes were observed in 24 hours as of 9 a.m. on July 24 especially in the northwestern provinces of Istanbul, Kocaeli, Edirne and Tekirdağ, according to the Turkish State Meteorological Service.
“There are various types of storms in the air. An electric storm is a phenomenon just like a dust storm, a snow storm or a rain storm … If the important factor is the wind, we call it a wind storm whereas if the important factors are thunders and thunderbolts we call it a thunderstorm,” Miktad Kadıoğlu, a faculty member of the Istanbul Technical University, told Demirören News Agency on July 24.
The rainfall peaked at around 4 a.m. in Istanbul, causing puddles all over the city roads. In the western districts of Çatalca and Silivri hailstorms hacked down trees.
At least three planes preparing for landing on Istanbul Atatürk Airport were diverted to Tekirdağ and Ankara Esenboğa airports.
A driver was killed in a traffic accident near the Atatürk Airport. The driver’s car ran into a road sign, Demirören News Agency reported.
In Istanbul’s Beşiktaş district, a taxicab went off the slippery road running into the bedroom of a flat. Luckily the bedroom was empty, but the wounded taxi driver and a customer were hospitalized.
Climate change effects
The frequency of floods, storms, whirlwinds and droughts has been increasing due to global warming and climate change, said Chamber of Meteorological Engineers Vice President Ahmet Köse on July 24.
“The severity and frequency of these kinds of matters have been increasing every year,” he told state-run Anadolu Agency.
The number of rainy days in July this year has doubled from the 1981-2010 average of 4.3 days, he pointed.
Köse also said the thickness of the cumulonimbus clouds, which cause strong thunderstorms, can reach to 12 kilometers.