WRAL WeatherCenter Blog

My brother in law said that running attracts lightning. My husband and I laughed. Is this true? He said if it starts lightning, not to run because you are more likely to be hit by it from static electricity.

Posted June 27, 2007

MIKE MOSS SAYS:     Heidi,    I have to admit that's the first time I've ever heard that suggestion, and although I wouldn't claim to have infallable knowledge on the subject, I can't really imagine that there is any greater risk associated with running when you are in an exposed location and a lightning storm is underway in the vicinity. Any static electricity associated with the faster movement is miniscule when scaled against the charges invoved in the lightning process, and unlikely to play a discernable role. On the contrary, if there is a safe, sheltered location (automobile, well-built structure, etc) you are probably better off on balance running to that location in order to reduce the length of time that you are outdoors and potentially exposed to lightning strikes.


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