Myths about Lightning Strikes
Myth: Lightning always move from the sky to the ground! FALSE
As soon as lightning makes contact with the ground, it generates a return stroke that moves upward. In rare cases, lightning can even start at the top of tall buildings or TV antennas and move up from there.
Myth: Lightning never strikes in the same place twice! FALSE
Lightning often strikes in the same place multiple times, particularly if the site is a tall, pointed structure such as the Empire State Building, which is struck by lightning around 100 times a year.
Myth: Using a land-line phone in a lightning storm is dangerous! TRUE
When lightning strikes a house, it moves through its network of interconnected cables. Usually, the energy is absorbed, but in the past 25 years, 25 people in the United States were killed by lightning while using a land-line phone.
Lightning may strike some distance from the storm that generates it. The phenomenon, known as lightning out of the blue occurs when lightning that begins at the top of the cloud moves horizontally more than six miles before striking the ground.
Myths: The rubber tires on a car protect it from lightning! FALSE
A car will protect you from lightning, but not because of its rubber tires – the lightning will be conducted through the car’s metal roof and body into the ground, leaving the occupants untouched.