The truth about lightning myths

The truth about lightning myths

. - MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF)  While each one of us may only rarely see severe weather in the form of damaging winds or large hail, or even more rarely, a tornado, each of us deal with lightning on numerous occasions through the year. There are
several common misconceptions about lightning and lightning safety.
MYTH 1:  If it's not raining, there is no risk from lightning.
FALSE:  Lightning often strikes outside the area of heavy rain in a thunderstorm. Some lightning strikes can happen as far as 15 miles from the main thunderstorms. This is especially common in our area as pop-up thunderstorms develop rapidly
and it's not uncommon for thunder and lightning to be occurring even as the sun is shining. The best way to stay safe is to remember this:  If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning.

MYTH 2:  The rubber on car tires and soles of your shoes will protect you from a lightning strike.

FALSE:  The rubber in tires is not what offers protection in a car. It's actually the metal of the car frame that offers the protection. It acts as a conductor of electricity from a lightning strike and disperses the electrical charge.
While a car is a much safer place than being outside in a lightning storm, if you're touching anything metal in the car, you may still be injured.  Rubber sole shoes offer zero protection from a lightning strike.

MYTH 3:  "Heat lightning" occurs after a hot day, but poses no threat.

FALSE:  Heat lightning is actually the flashes of lightning from thunderstorms too far away for you to hear the thunder. These lightning flashes can sometimes be seen from storms up to 100 miles away.  It's important to note that the storms
may actually be headed your way, and could eventually pose a threat.  Again, the best thing to remember is to go inside if you can hear thunder.