WeatherWeather Blog


Heat Lightning

What is it?
Posted at 3:00 PM, Jul 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-07 16:00:48-04

It Is summertime and you are sitting outside on your back patio with a clear view of the horizon, where you see intermittent flashes of lightning. "Ah, yes, heat lightning!" you think to yourself.

Nope. It is not heat lightning. Heat lightning is not really a thing...

So, what IS "heat lightning" and what REALLY is it?. What many of us have been told is heat lightning is really just regular lightning!

In some storms, lightning reflects off higher-level clouds and can be seen from greater distances. It is lightning in a storm too far away to hear the thunder. Typically, the sound of thunder can travel about 10 miles.

It is a good reminder though, that "When thunder roars, head indoors!" Lightning is not something to be taken lightly as it is so dangerous. Lightning is five times hotter than the surface of the sun!

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Check out the lightning safety tips below.

(And as a quick aside, it is spelled "lightning" and not "lightening." That is also a different thing.)

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