10 things you may not know about lightning

Lightning strikes over Mount Nittany in State College, Pa., Tuesday, June 23, 2015, as a thunderstorm moves through Centre County. Severe weather that pounded the Midwest and spawned tornadoes shifted on Tuesday to the East Coast, where tornado warnings were issued in several states and rainstorms were strong enough to stop train service. (Nabil K. Mark/Centre Daily Times via AP)

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Lightning can be beautiful, but deadly.

Here are 10 things you may not have known about lightning.

1. Lightning is so hot that when it strikes, it heats the air around it so fast that it produces a shock wave that reaches our ears as thunder.

2. Lightning looks for the tallest objects to strike.

3. If you are caught out in the open with lightning around, get away from any tall objects.

4. If you are the tallest object around, squat down on the balls of your feet and get as lows as possible without laying on the ground.

5. Lightning is about 5 times hotter than the surface of the sun. Lighting is 50,000° F. The surface of the sun is about 10,000° F.

6. It is okay to talk on a cellphone during a storm. It’s the corded phones that are dangerous.

7. An increase in the frequency of lightning is an indication that the storm may be getting stronger.

8. Lightning can be positively or negatively charged.

9. The positively charged lightning happens most often in the lighter rain behind the main storm.

10. The 30/30 Rule: If you can’t count to 30 between the time you see lightning and hear thunder, you’re close enough to get struck. Go inside and wait 30 minutes past the last rumble of thunder before going back outside.

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