Record number of lightning observed in Iceland volcanic ash (PHOTOS & VIDEO)

  on May 23 2011 1:55 AM

The British Met Office, which is monitoring lightning activity in the ash plume from Iceland's Grimsvotn volcano, said lightning recorded per hour was 1000 times more than during the Eyjafjallajokull eruption in May 2010.

During the most intense lightning period the number of lightnings per hour was 1000 times more than during the Eyjafjallajokull Eruption, Icelandic Met Office (IMO) said in a statement on Sunday.

The British Met Office said that as many lightning have never been observed in a volcanic eruption in Iceland before.

The highest 1-hour lightning count was 2198 strokes between 00:00-01:00 on 22 May 2011. For comparison, the highest 1-hour count during the Eyjafjallajökull eruption was 22 between 08:00-09:00 on 16 May 2010, it noted.

Grimsvotn volcano, under the Vatnajokull glacier in southeast Iceland started erupting on May 21, 2011, spewing ash up to 20 kilometers into the air while it remained lower at 10 or 15 km till May 22, IMO said.

The ash from the massive plume of smoke from the eruption of Iceland's most active volcano could spread south to parts of Europe next week, though the impact on European air traffic would be limited.

Check out a Reuters Video of the Grimsvotn volcano spewing ash in air, and some of the rare pictures of lightning and the volcanic eruption taken from Icelandic Met Office (IMO) below:

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