Maybe you have heard the term ‘heat lightning’ before? Usually, this term is used to describe visible lightning flashes, but without thunder. However, there is no difference between ‘heat lightning’ and lightning in a thunderstorm.
When lightning strikes it is hotter than the surface of the sun! The air around a lightning strike is quickly heated and it expands, creating a pressure wave. This pressure wave is what we perceive as thunder. Typically to hear thunder, you have to be within 10 miles of the lightning strike. However, you can see lightning strikes from storms that are a lot further away than 10 miles. This is where the term ‘heat lightning’ comes from, but just because you can see the lightning and not hear the thunder, doesn’t mean that there is no thunder.
All lightning is not only dangerous, but it is also deadly. Lightning kills around 20 people each year and injures hundreds more. That is why it is important to head inside when you hear thunder or see lightning. Not only can you be struck underneath a thunderstorm, but lightning can strike miles away from thunderstorms.
When lightning strikes and you are outside around water, whether that is a pool, a lake, or the beach, you should seek shelter inside. Avoid water and wet objects, and be sure to stay clear of metal objects and tall objects like trees.
If you find yourself at an outdoor event during a thunderstorm, be sure to seek shelter inside a building or a car. Be sure to stay away from open areas, hilltops, and ridges. Be sure to avoid metal objects, trees, and other tall objects.
The next time that lightning strikes or thunder roars, be sure to head inside and stay there until the storm passes. You can get lightning alerts on your phone through our Live Alert 19 App. Be sure to download it today!