In reality, lightning can and will strike the same place twice, whether it be during the same storm or even centuries later. When we see a lightning strike, we’re witnessing the discharge of electricity that has built up in a cloud, which is so strong that it breaks through the ionized air.
While writing we ran into the query “Can lightning strike the same place twice in a row?”.
Myth: Lightning never strikes in one place twice . Fact: Actually, lightning can, and often does, strike the same place repeatedly — especially if it’s a tall and isolated object. For example, the Empire State Building is hit about 25 times per year .
One source claimed that The National Weather Service says the odds of being struck by lightning in any given year are about a million to one. Yet being struck twice isn’t unheard of. A Texas man, for example, told a reporter he was hit by two bolts of lightning in 2013. A man in New Mexico told a local TV station he was hit three times.
In fact, the opposite is true. Lightning is more likely to strike the same place twice, given that the same weather patterns are likely to repeat themselves in the same geographical landscape. But don’t worry too much. In the USA, your odds of being hit by lightning over an 80-year lifespan are roughly one in 3000 .
Why does Lightning never strike twice?
The saying “Lightning never strikes twice” is totally wrong. The saying was coined because lightning strikes at most places are rare. Rare events seldom happen to someone again. So standing around hoping some fortuitous event is going to happen again is foolish. But certain location get struck often, sometimes several times a night.
Some think that Campbell Cody has twice experienced the strike of lightning, and both times proved to be a deadly portent of things to come. The first time lightning struck, she lost her friend, and her job as a police officer. The second time, Maida Livingstone, the dear old woman she was hired to protect, disappeared.
Will lightning strike the same tree twice?
So yes, lightning can strike twice in the same place. In fact, lightning is likely to strike in exactly the same place – the top of the tallest tree – every few years until the tree is no longer the tallest around, as other trees grow up and around it. Even for old trees, there is safety in numbers.
Trees are not very good conductors of electricity. If the trunk of the tree is very wet from rain, the lightning will course through the water and dust on the trunk down to the earth, causing little damage to the tree itself. You can sometimes see the sooty residue left on parts of the tree after a strike like this.
You might be asking “How do lightning rules apply from a tree’s perspective?”
Old trees are often the tallest thing around. When lightning strikes, they are more likely to be struck. You’d think a lightning strike would be game over for most trees. In fact, the effects can vary enormously.
Can lightning strike if the sky is clear and not raining?
Myth: Lightning cannot strike in an area if it is not raining and skies are clear. Fact: Not true. Do not wait until a thunderstorm is immediately overhead and for rain to begin to act. If you can hear thunder, lightning is close enough to pose an immediate threat, even if the sky above you is blue.