An exceptionally rare super-cell thunderstorm occurred on the morning hours of October 25th 2015 in the Eastern Mediterranean. The storm developed off the Egyptian coastline near Alexandria and moved north-west, crossing the Israeli coast just north of Tel-Aviv at 0700 UTC. Rapidly developing, deep convective cells, with thunderclouds exhibiting cloud top temperatures colder than −70 °C (17 km) and radar reflectivity cores >65 dBz at 12 km, were accompanied by intensive lightning activity, severe hail, downbursts and massive rain rates. Between 0500 and 0900 UTC, more than 28,440 cloud-to-ground lightning strokes were registered by the lightning detection system of the Israeli Electrical Corporation. Additionally, weak strokes detected with peak currents lower the ±5 kA were classified as intracloud, and constituted additional 29,878 strokes; the storm's total for the 4-h period was 58,318 strokes, exceeding the total annual amount for the entire country. The maximum total stroke rate between 0700 and 0800 UTC exceeded 500 strokes per minute. Synoptic analysis and WRF simulations suggest that electrification processes were enhanced through a combination of dynamic factors and dust induced invigoration of microphysical processes, leading to the prodigious amount of lightning.
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