It’s been said that knowledge is power, but too much of the wrong knowledge can be dangerous.
That’s especially true when it comes to severe weather.
KX News Meteorologist Robert Suhr went to clarify some of the most widely believed severe weather myths.
Myths and Urban legends have been around for centuries.
And the weather is no different…there’s all sort of myths and legends…but if you don’t separate fact from fiction…it could cost you your life.
We’ll start with one we’ve all heard before… It’s sunny and dry where I’m at…so I must be safe from Lightning?
This one seems like common sense…but it’s not…even though you may be dry…lightning has been known to strike areas up to 15 miles away from the storm. They’re known as “Bolts from the blue” and even though they are rare it can happen.
“You could be standing somewhere the sun is shining on you, it’s dry, you can see the storm in the distance, but you feel safe because it seems far enough away, but in reality, lightning can strike quite far away from the thunderstorm itself, and if you’re unlucky enough, that could be you”. Said Meteorologist Tyler Krantz with the National Weather Service in Bismarck.
So if you’re anywhere near a storm…seek shelter at once.
Myth 2: Lightning Never Strikes the same place twice.
This is one of the most dangerous myths out there because despite being widely believed — it simply isn’t true.
There are known examples of slow-moving thunderstorms with dangerous lightning striking the same location multiple times.
Like this home in Texas getting struck twice in a matter of minutes.
A perfect example is New York’s Empire State Building which is struck by lightning about 100 times a year.
Myth 3: If a Tornado is approaching, open your windows to equalize the pressure. Krantz tells me opening your windows has no effect on pressure, it just puts you in greater danger…
“That is not safe, there’s really no reason to do that whatsoever, in reality, all that’s doing is decreasing the amount of time you have to get to your designated storm shelter,” Said Krantz
So if you hear something that doesn’t quite sound right…do a little homework…it could save your life.
Another widely believed myth is that after a long period of fog in the winter…a big winter storm usually hits about 90 days later, the weather service told me that myth gained traction simply because of how foggy it is up here coupled with winter storm frequency.