Weather Minute – Heat Lightning

What is heat lightning? Where does it come from?

Ever wonder if these hot muggy nights are the cause of the flashes in the sky we grew up to know as “heat lightning”?

These flashes often referred to as “Summer Lightning” are actually flashes of lightning on the horizon or other clouds from distant thunderstorms that do not have the sound of thunder.

It is a misconception that heat lightning is caused due to heat or hot and humid weather.

Heat lightning is simply cloud-to-ground lightning that occurs very far away, with thunder that dissipates before it reaches you. During evening and night hours it is possible to see the flashes of lightning from distances up to 100 miles, but the sound of thunder does not carry that far.

Heat lightning is a common occurrence in Florida over the water at night from storms that formed during the day.

Weather Fact of the Day:

Lightning is the #2 cause of weather-related deaths in the state of Georgia, and Savannah, GA ranks in at just over 60 days of thunderstorm activity in a year.