Don’t take showers. Crazy, huh? June 20, 2014 (March 8, 2015), Chicago Tribune. "greased lightning." Anytime there’s a storm nearby, do your part to stay safe — whether you’re inside or outside! In fact, I’ve seen lightning illuminating high cloud tops at night more than 150 miles away, as confirmed by Doppler radar data. For example, I’ve heard that you can’t get hurt from lightning if you’re inside your home. (March 8, 2015), National Weather Service (NWS)., Matthews, Robert. And we usually get only a little piece of that stormy cold front action in Florida. What other misinformation and myths about lighting can put you at risk of severe injury or even death? "Franklin and his Electric Kite." Flowers are blooming, the weather is warming up, and AGH — thunderstorms! 5 Common Lightning Myths. 10: Lightning Never Strikes the Same Place Twice. (March 8, 2015), So, even if the sky above you is as clear as could be, if a storm is brewing a few miles away — say the next town over from you — it could still send an injurious (even fatal) lightning bolt your way. Therefore, whenever you see heat lightning, it’s best to bring your activities indoors and heed the advice mentioned in #1 above for the next few hours. 3: Greased Lightning Is a Type of Lightning. For example, here in Florida, we get many lightning storms during the squalls that precede cold fronts. But few come indoors simply when the clouds are darkening — but they should: Lightning Safety Tip: Anytime it’s looking stormy outside — even if there’s no rain or lightning — it’s best to seek safe shelter as soon as possible because it doesn’t have to be raining in order for lightning to strike! "Go, greased lightning!" There are plenty of rumors out there about lightning safety, so we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 lightning myths and how to better protect yourself. I enjoy sharing little-known facts and fun stuff about the weather. Lightning Can’t Strike You If There Aren’t Any Clouds Overhead. FACT: I love Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 hit “Dreams,” which contains the lyrics “thunder only happens when it’s raining.” Yes, thunder (and its preceding lightning) generally do happen when it’s raining, but sometimes lightning occurs before rain. Lightning can travel as far as 25 miles from its parent storm. "Lightning in a bottle." I'm a weather geek from Florida who's been studying meteorology and watching weather patterns for years! And if you live in Tornado Alley, not only does springtime mean a heightened chance of tornadoes, but it also brings along other forms of severe weather — including lightning. (March 8, 2015), Phrase Finder. "Bolts from the Blue." I especially like sharing interesting details about weather events and conditions that can affect you... and how to prepare for Mother Nature's ever-changing weather patterns. As a Florida guy, I’ve heard many of the popular lightning myths. MYTH: If you count more than 30 seconds from a lightning strike until thunder the storm is more than 6 miles away. 2007 (March 9, 2015), Heussner, Ki Mae. You see, most folks who are outdoors will seek shelter the moment it starts raining. How Thunder and Lightning Came to Be: Picture book based on a Choctaw legend about the origin of thunder and lightning. As a homeowner, I primarily write about weather safety tips that everyone should know in order to protect their home and family during major weather events. However, science has proven that lightning can do damage much farther just 5 or 6 miles from its parent storm. No matter what I’m doing, if I’m outdoors and hear thunder, I always make a point to drop what I’m doing and head right for the nearest safe shelter. Even though being inside is far better than being outside during a lightning strike, you still want to keep away from things that conduct electricity indoors. I'm a weather geek from Florida who's been studying meteorology and watching weather patterns for years! "Ben Franklin 'faked kite experiment.'" "Lightning Strikes Twice: Empire State Building Video Goes Viral." The Thunder And Lightning Men A Passamaquoddy Legend. FACT: You can be injured or killed by lightning inside your house.eval(ez_write_tag([[728,90],'thefuntimesguide_com-box-3','ezslot_2',699,'0','0'])); In my Central Florida metropolitan area alone, there have been several homes struck by lightning over the past couple years. "Greased Lightning" (March 8, 2015), Robinson, Dan. Lightning Safety Tip: Lightning can strike anywhere once and many places twice (including tall buildings, mountains, bridges, and radio antennas) — so if there’s a storm nearby, stay as safe as possible indoors and avoid tall outdoor structures. Check out this video of thundersnow and you’ll see what I mean: Lightning Safety Tip: Lightning may strike anytime that severe weather is occurring. For every 5 seconds you count off, lightning is 1 mile away — 2 miles away if you get to 10 seconds, and so on. June 1, 2003 (March 9, 2015), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). But that’s just a very tall and active thunderhead at a distance over the horizon. Lightning Safety Tip: During a thunderstorm, avoid using corded phones and electronics. Lightning wants to find the fastest way from the cloud to the ground — and things like metal pipes, wires, cables, gutters, water, and metal windows all help lightning accomplish this goal. No, you can't get shocked from a person struck by lightning. Some rather old-fashioned weather advice is… If you see lightning, start counting off the seconds. Fireflies, or lightning bugs, aren’t actually flies at all – for that matter, they’re not even really bugs, either. FACT: This is one of the most common lightning myths, and it can be easily debunked by pointing to the Empire State Building. "Top-10 Myths of Lightning Safety." One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi, etc. So-called heat lightning, by definition of being very distant lightning, is generally safe to observe outdoors presuming its at least 25 or 30 miles away. But further north, cold fronts can bring terrible thunderstorms in the fall months. FACT: Lightning travels far and fast … It’s impractical to avoid all electronics every time there’s a thunderstorm, but there really is a risk to using a computer or sit in front of a plugged-in television while lightning strikes outside. Lightning Safety Tip: Seeing flashes of lightning in the distance should tell you that the atmosphere is ripe for thunderstorm development. The Empire State Building was once used as a lightning laboratory because it is hit nearly 25 times per year, and has been known to have been hit up to a dozen times during a single storm. FACT: Oye veh, where do these myths come from? "This Day in History: Franklin flies kite during thunderstorm." But… thunderstorms don’t happen only in the summer! So while the illumination from the lightning is perfectly visible in the dark of night, the thunder is just too far away to hear it. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website. OK, so it sort of makes sense why some folks think lightning strikes only in the summer — after all, summertime is when thunderstorms are most prevalent. Normally, a fall cold front brings with it squally weather — including heavy rain, strong winds, and frequent lightning. In fact, from a biological standpoint, they’re part of the beetle family.Science aside, these beautiful insects come out once dusk begins in the summertime, and can be seen lighting up the night in many areas of the world. This Currier & Ives lithograph shows Benjamin Franklin and his son William using a kite and key during a storm to prove that lightning was electricity.