Top five lightning myths

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By: Charles Roop | WCTV Pinpoint Weather
June 28, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- South Georgia and the Big Bend encounter a lot of lightning, especially in the summer. But despite the frequency of these bolts, some myths are still prevalent.

With this week being National Lightning Safety Awareness Week, the Pinpoint Weather Team has picked out a few misconceptions that the National Weather Service has listed.

Myth 1: Metal or metal on a body attracts lightning.

Not necessarily true. The height, shape, and isolation of an object do play a role. But a metal object doesn't really make a big difference.

Myth 2: The rubber car tires protects you from lightning.

Nope. When lightning hits a vehicle, It goes through the metal frame into the ground, keeping occupants safe. But it’s best not to lean on the doors during a storm.

The third myth: If trapped outside in a storm, one should lie flat on the ground.

That wouldn’t be a great idea as it would increase your chances of being impacted by the deadly current from a nearby strike. Seeking shelter in a place with a roof and four walls will be the best protection from lightning.

Myth 4: People who are struck must not be touched because they carry an electrical charge.

That statement is dangerously false. Victims of a lightning strike do not carry a charge. It is safe to check the vitals and administer CPR, and call 9-1-1.

Myth 5: Lightning never strikes the same place twice.

That’s not true. It can strike a location multiple times. For instance, the empire state building is struck twenty-three times a year on average.

We do have a bonus tip that Chief Meteorologist Mike McCall would appreciate. The proper spelling of lightning has no “e” in it.