EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – There are several weather phenomena, some of which seem to good to be real or true and others that make you think twice about. However, we’re going to stick to a couple of the more common misconceptions regarding weather phenomena.
12 News spoke with Glenn Field with the National Weather Service’ Taunton office. Glenn is the Warning Coordination Meteorologist at NWS Taunton and spoke with us as part of Severe Weather Awareness Week across Southern New England.
The first one up is the term “Heat Lightning”. All I can think about is a quiet but warm summer night and seeing the sky light up with flashes of light from time to time. I always deemed it as heat lightning and its a popular term that many refer to. The question is… is heat lightning even real?
“There is no such thing as heat lightning. Lightning is lightning but you may just be too far away to hear the thunder.” – Glenn Field, NWS Taunton.
The idea of the hot temperatures causing lightning is a myth. In fact, try it out this summer. When you think you’re seeing “heat lightning”, gain access to any radar covering your area and zoom out while looking in the direction of the lightning.
You’ll most likely see that there is a distant thunderstorm that could be miles and miles away. A storm could be miles away and you would still be able to see the lightning.
Lets keep the topic on lightning and talk about another popular thought.
“Once you’re struck by lightning, you can’t be struck again.”
“Lightning actually digs its path through the atmosphere and once its dug its path one way, it’s very easy to come through that channel the very next time.” – says Field.
One could argue based on this that if you’ve been struck by lightning, you may be even more at risk to be struck a second time.
So, as we head into the summer months which are more prone for thunderstorms. If this discussion ever comes up, you can lay out some weather facts regarding lightning.
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