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Severe Weather Awareness Week: Lightning Myths

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Posted at 11:35 AM, Mar 19, 2021

NORFOLK, Va. - All this week, our team of meteorologists has been tackling different questions you may have about storms. Meteorologist Myles Henderson looks at lightning facts and fiction.

Lighting can be a scary, damaging and potentially deadly part of thunderstorms. But not everything you’ve heard about lightning is true.

True or False?
Lightning never strikes the same place twice.

FALSE
Lightning often strikes the same place repeatedly, especially if it's a tall, isolated object.

True or False?
If it’s not raining, you are safe from lightning.

FALSE
Lightning often strikes more than three miles from the center of the thunderstorm, far outside the rain or thunderstorm cloud.

True or False?
If you are in a house, you are safe from lightning.

TRUE
A house is a safe place to be during a thunderstorm as long as you avoid anything that conducts electricity, and that includes the shower or bath.

True or False?
Rubber tires on a car protect you from lightning.

FALSE
Most cars are safe from lightning, but it is the metal roof and metal sides that protect you, NOT the rubber tires.

Most lightning deaths occur because people do not seek shelter soon enough. No ballgame, yardwork or fishing trip is worth the risk of death or life-long injury.

Remember: "When Thunder Roars, Go Indoors."