BLOG: Lightning myths

Mythbusting lightning

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Lightning is beautiful and this time of year, we can be treated to a display several times each week. It can be tempting to go outside on the porch and enjoy the show. Did you know that isn't exactly a good idea?

Unfortunately, that isn't the only thing many people don't know about nature's light show. You've heard the saying – lightning doesn't strike twice, right?

NOT true! Lightning has no idea what has already been hit. It tends to go for the highest object. If the highest object is the same this week as it was last week, it can spell trouble. Take the Empire State Building. It gets struck many times each year. If you're on a golf course and you're the highest object this week... and again next week, you could be struck both.

Have you heard that if you can't see lightning, it can't strike you? That's not true either. That's why we say – if you see it, flee it. If you hear it, clear it. Lightning can strike 10-15 miles away from the storm. In fact, it even has a name. It's what we call a "bolt out of the blue."

It also doesn't have to be raining for lightning to strike. Many times, even this week, there have been multiple lightning bolts behind the main storm. You may think the storm has passed because the rain has stopped but you should wait 30 minutes after you hear the last clap of thunder before you venture back outside.

Where are you safe in a storm? Inside! …most of the time. Did you know you can even be struck in your house? While, that is typically the safest place you can be, you still need to be smart. Never take a shower or bath during a thunderstorm. Lightning can strike a house and travel through the pipes. Also, if you have a phone with a cord, lightning can travel through that and strike you too.

So, the biggest thing to remember is to use common sense and respect lightning. After all, it's hotter than the sun. Never mess with anything that's hotter than the sun!