For lightning to occur, atmospheric instability is necessary. That is to say, that the cold and dry air be placed on the warm and humid air. Normally, that warm and humid air is not in areas near the north pole. Therefore, it is really complicated that lightning strikes occur in this area.

However, during August 10, 2019, scientists detected dozens of lightning strikes near the North Pole. Only 300 nautical miles. This fact is so unusual that the office of the United States National Weather Service in Fairbanks, Alaska, said that this is one of the most northern lightning strikes that Alaska forecasters remembered.

Unusual lightning strikes
Source: NWS Fairbanks (NOAA)

It is very likely that this unusual phenomenon occurred due to climate change, but also for other reasons. For example, the warming of the area due to the smoke from the forest fires that took place in Siberia.

According to experts, polar lightnings will be more common as the planet’s temperature increases and thaw increases in the Arctic areas.