Saturday, February 4, 2012

Can Lightning Strike The Same Place Twice?

I have always believed the old myth that lightning can't strike the same place twice. The question at hand is, Can It? Now that I think about it, I feel pretty dumb because it really is inevitable. It may not happen right away but it's bound to happen in the future. Lightning has no prejudice or memory of where it's been before.

I chose this topic because I've always really loved watching lightning, while on the beach or sitting on my porch, which I know is really unsafe but, there's just something about it that is so cool when it strikes. I used to think I'd be okay if I went over to look wherever it had struck.

The objective or goal is to prove that Lightning can and will strike the same place more then once.

The information that I found is as such. The one article I read stated, it may be ten minutes later or it may be a million years later, but who knows when it will strike the same place twice? A strike doesn't do anything to affect the electrical current going on above and continues to strike once it is "recharged."

The same article also said that Mythbusters, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman took on this myth using footage of the Sears Tower getting struck by lightning twice during a storm in July of 2006 in Chicago. (Video is on the first website listed if anyone wants to watch it.) (Dan Robinson)

Dan Robinson

I read that lightning struck 11 times in 20 minutes in a single storm in Lexington, Kentucky. Lightning will generally hit tall buildings such as, television towers and skyscrapers. The empire state building gets struck about 25 times a year! This completely debunks the myth that lightning won't strike the same place twice. (Weather Imagery, 2005)

"Lightning zig-zags down to the ground by forming “step-leaders”, re-evaluating at each step where it’s going next." It doesnt always go for the tallest buildings, but they are definitely struck more, due to their high altitudes.  (Weather Imagery, 2005)

Now after reading this, my point of view is that, I can't imagine why I thought this in the first place.  I completely believe it, and will definitely think twice the next time I'm out on the beach in a thunderstorm. 

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