Blog: The “Heat” Lightning Misnomer

Weather

Lightning, and particularly thunderstorms, were the reasons I become fascinated with the weather. Well, that and of course Bill Paxton in the move Twister. And to this day, lightning can be one of the most fascinating weather phenomena’s out there. Like last night, where about 1,200 lightning strikes lit up the night sky over Hampton Roads.

Most of which were seen off in the distance, so much so that the thunder was not heard. This is often mistaken as “heat” lightning. But “heat” lightning is simply just lightning in the distance. We typically see this after hot and humid days which allow the thunderstorms to survive after sunset. Then in the night sky with a good view of the horizon, lightning can be seen for miles and miles without hearing the thunder.

Meteorologist Steve Fundaro

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