Caption: Heat lightning illuminates the cloud around it as a summer storm develops at dusk. -- Photo by: Aaron Cress --
The summer heat still rises even as dusk sets in and the clouds swell off in the distance. As the storm swells flashes of light begin and make the clouds look more ominous, yet the sounds of thunder does not follow. This phenomenon is called heat lightning and is very common during the peak of the summer months in North Carolina. Heat lightning does make a sound of thunder but with the storm being so far away sometimes over 100miles away the sound dissipates over the distance leaving the storm silent and spectacular to watch. The frequency of lightning during the storm above lightning flashed across the sky every two to three seconds making it excellent to photograph and watch from a safe place.
Heat lightning is commonly intra-cloud lightning which means the lightning strikes stay within the cloud and doesn’t strike the ground and this is the most common type of lightning. Whenever lightning is observed it is best to seek shelter since lightning strikes can travel a great distance from origin of the storm. Men are four times more likely to be struck by lightning than women, mostly due to outdoor activities like fishing while in a boat and playing golf. So as the summer day starts to finally cool off be careful around lightning because the night sky might be just starting to heat up.