CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - We all have some ideas about what to do, and what not to do, when we hear that rumble of thunder off in the distance.
The air starts to turn cooler, the wind picks up and the smell of rain comes on before the first drop ever hits the ground.
Your first through might be to get inside to avoid the rain but it should be to avoid being hit by a bolt of lightning that's five times hotter than the surface of the sun according to the National Weather Service (NWS).
Between 1997 and 2012 there were 460,074 lighting strikes in Ohio and from 2004 to 2013 there were 10 people killed in the state from strikes.
FALSE: According to the NWS crouching will not reduce your risk of being hit. Instead of crouching what you should be doing is moving quickly to the nearest safe structure.
False: The NWS reports, "Lightning often strikes the same place repeatedly, especially if it's a tall, pointy, isolated object. The Empire State Building is hit an average of 23 times a year."
False: The problem with this statement is that lightning can hit an area before the thunderstorm even gets there. Often called "bolts from the blue" can strike 10-15 miles from a thunderstorm according to the NWS.
Partially True: While the electricity will eventually pass through the tires on the way to the ground the NWS reports that it's more about the metal in your car. "Most cars are safe from lightning, but it is the metal roof and metal sides that protect you, NOT the rubber tires," the NWS report says. The NWS goes on to advise you not to lean on doors during a thunderstorm.
False: The truth is it's even further, measuring some 60 feet.