Severe Weather Awareness Week: Lightning

Published: Mar. 19, 2020 at 11:53 PM EDT
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You may have heard the sayings, "When thunder roads, move indoors" or "when you see a flash, make a dash" we come up with these rhymes to drive home the point that lightning should not be messed with.

A single lightning bolt can create heat 5 times hotter than the sun. There are also a lot of myths involved in lightning and lightning safety.

One myth would be that lightning cannot strike the same place twice. That is untrue, as it can strike the same place multiple times and several places at once.

Lightning can also strike 10 to 15 miles in either direction from an approaching or departing storm.

One rule to follow would be the 30/30 rule. The National Weather Service suggests to count the seconds between seeing lightning and hearing thunder. If this time is less than 30 seconds, there is still a major threat. After you hear your last rumble of thunder, wait 30 minutes before returning outdoors.

With lightning and thunder, outdoors is the worst place you can be. Where there is thunder, there is lightning. The best place to avoid harm is by going inside a building, away from windows and avoiding any electronics. If you cannot make it to a safe building, move to a car. If neither of these options is available, get as low to the ground as possible. A common myth is you are safer under a tree or a tall object, but that is also untrue. Lightning is attracted to taller objects and even if it strikes the taller object first, it can travel to you quickly after.