Ever had an experience like this?

@Barb42 (4216)
United States
July 23, 2008 4:09pm CST
Just a few minutes ago I was sitting here reading on MyLot. My grandson was in the computer room on the computer. All of a sudden, I heard the loudest noise you would ever want to hear. I thought somebody had shot somebody outside my house or perhaps had run into something with their car or truck. It was a terrible sound! I ran to my front porch and looked out. At first, I saw nothing. But then something caught my eye. We have pine trees all over our front yard. A lightning bolt had struck the tallest one which is one tree down from our garage on the end of our home. It had gone from the top to the bottom which looks like about a 2 inch gap in the tree. Nearer the bottom, it looks like someone has taken a pick and sort of chipped at the tree in a couple places. There has been no thunder or lightning or rain prior to this happening. It isn't even cloudy. The wind has picked up a little and it did thunder right after that bolt of lightning. That is so strange. I have cautioned my grandkids not to be outside when it's thundering because you never know when something will happen. Now, it bothers me for them to be out riding now. I have one of them here now, and he had just been out riding the 3 wheeler and doing his jogging he does every day. And that is scarey that he could have been out when this happened. Have you ever seen or heard of anything like this? I have read in the newspaper about such incidents happening on a pretty day and even killing a person, but had never seen it myself.
5 people like this
16 responses
@anawar (2406)
• United States
23 Jul 08
I've had lightning experiences, but not as dramatic as yours. Lightning hit the transformer behind our house and it was os loud, I fell off the couch where I was resting! Thank goodness that tree didn't fall on your house or vehicle, much less a family member. I've seen four lightning bolts hit the sky at once, that was impressive. I saw a tree after a lightning strike and I was so saddened. It had been a huge, beautiful tree, but the lightning tore it apart. It didn't make a clean hit like it did at your house. Did you know lightning comes from the ground up? I didn't know that until a few years ago and I'm wondering if I'm one of the few who didn't have this knowledge. Nature puts on quite a show for us mere humans.
2 people like this
@Barb42 (4216)
• United States
23 Jul 08
We have had lightning to strike a pine tree in our back yard, but the noise was nothing like this one. We were sitting at the kitchen table years ago when that one struck. But it was also thundering and raining really hard. Today, it was weird in that nothing was going on. That is very scarey. I hadn't thought about the lightning striking from the bottom, but I guess you are right. And then it just goes up the tree, or the person.
2 people like this
@Barb42 (4216)
• United States
23 Jul 08
I just looked up lightning, whether it hit from top to bottom, or ground to sky. It can happen either way, according to the Weather information. But, this tree was definitely hit from top to bottom. It started with a small streak and got larger as it got to the ground. The bottom part is about 4 inches wide and the bark was torn downward. The Weather information says: An entire lightning strike employs both upward and downward moving forces. However, the return stroke of a lightning bolt travels FROM THE GROUND INTO THE CLOUD and accounts for more that 99% of the luminosity of a lightning strike. What we SEE as lightning does indeed travel from the ground into the cloud. http://www.srh.noaa.gov/jetstream/lightning/lightning_faq.htm There is information on what to do if you find yourself outside and no way to get to a safe place. But never lay flat on the ground. It says that, when lightning strikes the ground, it can be fatal up to 100 feet away.
2 people like this
@anawar (2406)
• United States
24 Jul 08
copy that. I just popped over to that website. Now, I think I can explain to someone why we think lightning comes from the sky. If I remember anything at all after staying on mylot all day!
2 people like this
@katsmeow1213 (28910)
• United States
23 Jul 08
That's scary. But the weather has been acting pretty weird lately. We had a hail storm in June, and I'd never seen a hail storm in my life! We had thunder and lightning during a snow storm, something else I'd never seen!
2 people like this
• United States
24 Jul 08
I happened to be driving during the hail storm. There were many vehicles parked under the bridge. I was terrified my windows would bust from the hail, but I made it home dent free.
2 people like this
@Adoniah (7515)
• United States
23 Jul 08
Did you know that lightening can go from the ground up? This may be what happened. It can happen way before a storm appears or never gets to you. I live in Fl. and sometimes the storm never comes near, but we get the lightening and thunder for a very long time as the storm passes miles away from us. We learn from early childhood that even on a sunny day there is a potential of danger. We loose a lot of Northern visiting golfers that way. Shalom~Adoniah
2 people like this
@Barb42 (4216)
• United States
23 Jul 08
I just looked this up because someone else above had said that. But I found, from the Weather information, that it can happen both ways. Look at the link I left above on this information. I did read that people from Florida, especially in the Central part, are more apt to be hit by lightning bolts because they spend more of their time outside.
2 people like this
@Hatley (164237)
• Garden Grove, California
23 Jul 08
hi barb42 yes when I was in myearly teens we had a feroicous lightening and thunderstorrm.my dad and granddad were out on our screened in front porch just across from a large elm tree. the lightening hit that tree and split it down the middle . the force of the strike actually moved my dad and my grandpa back about five or six feet. they were not injured' but just shaken up a bit.The smell of ozone was rank right then. I have never forgotten that day.
2 people like this
@Barb42 (4216)
• United States
23 Jul 08
Goodness. I know that had to really scare them. I know it would have me. My grandchildren have a friend who was out on the porch with his Dad. I think they were barbecuing. Anyway, a lightning bolt hit the boy and he lost both and arm and leg. But the boy, who I think was a senior this year, has not let it affect him. He wears the leg prosthesis, but he hardly ever wears his arm, and neither of them slow that boy down. He's just a joy to be around, a big cut up.
2 people like this
@ch88ss (2270)
• United States
23 Jul 08
Ouch and scary. THank goodness the kids are inside and nobody got hurt and no property damage. How do you manage to be worry free when such indicidents can happen. We don't have much of that where I live, it is either too, too hot or muggy but nothing much to complain about compared to the weather other part of the country is dealing with. Stay safe!
2 people like this
@Barb42 (4216)
• United States
23 Jul 08
Well, you never know when something might happen. So I can't sit around and worry my life away. We just take precautions when we know for sure something could happen. And we tell the kids never to think they are perfectly safe, and come in when they see clouds coming in or hear thunder in the distance. IT can be here in just a few minutes. As with this, it can come without any bad weather at all. We still haven't had anything here this afternoon.
3 people like this
@chingbeem (910)
• Philippines
23 Jul 08
im glad nobody got hurt.yes,that was quite an experience. i remember when i was a little girl..both our place and my grandparents place had this iron poles in the yaard.it was more like a flag pole.we kids didnt know the purpose then.then,during one of those super typhoons...we talked about thunders and lightnings...our dad assured us that we were safe from lightning bolts because of that iron pole.he said,if lightning would strike near us,it will go directly to that pole,which will bring the electric current to the ground.the best thing is,the poles never came to be of use...no lightning ever struck us...though as a kid,it was a disappointment...hehehe.
2 people like this
@momalisa65 (1983)
• United States
23 Jul 08
Wow! No, I never heard of that happening! I'm glad you are all safe! When I was renting a trailer when my kids were little, a tree fell on it during a storm. But it was raining and the wind was blowing terribly at the time.
2 people like this
@guybrush (4660)
• Australia
24 Jul 08
That would be incredibly scary! I live in an area where we've had a few bad lightning strikes within the last few years. In one case, a cricketer was killed at the sporting field across the road - it was a sunny day, just starting to sprinkle with rain, and he was just getting ready to bat when it happened. Shocking and very sad. I used to go for walks in any weather, but now I'm more careful and won't go if it's a bit stormy.
1 person likes this
@boerema (60)
24 Jul 08
I am from Florida which is the lightning capital of the world. Lighting struck trees that appear to be split are a very common occurance here . It is not uncommon for us to get lightning everyday during the summer and forest fires get started, trees get split, and houses get short circuited. About a year ago we had a bad lightning storm and our house got struck and a few plugged in devices got short circuited and fried. Just remember if you live in an area prone to lightning storms to plug your electronics/appliances into a surge protector. Also just as a little scientific side note. Lightning strikes from the ground to the sky. It will only strike you if you are providing a direct path to the ground (which is why birds do not get electrocuted when hanging on electric wires). If one of your grandchildren is on a 3 wheeler he/she is not in that much danger because the wheels he/she is riding on do not provide a path for the lightning to reach the ground. Lightning is not linked to rain clouds so lightning can occur on a clear day although it is very rare. Just do not be to worried, your chances of winning the lottery are greater than ever getting struck by lightning but at the same time be careful
@Barb42 (4216)
• United States
24 Jul 08
I keep hearing people say that lightning only strikes from the ground up, but that's not what I'm finding. They tell you to stay away from the tallest trees in a lightning storm. The tree in our yard that got hit today was the tallest tree in that area. Here are some things I just found out about lightning: Kinds of contact: 1. Direct strike: bolt hits the person, often to the head if the person was standing 2. Contact voltage: lightning hits something that a person is touching (golf club, umbrella, a wired telephone) and enters the body. 3. Flashover or splash voltage: when lightning hits a nearby object (tree, pole, wire fence) and then arcs over to a person. 4. Step or ground voltage: occurs when lightning hits the ground and the current fans out in all directions. The magnitude of damage will vary with the local conditions (wet/dry), orientation of the person (standing/lying) and distance from the source. This kind of contact can affect several individuals at once. Also, here are some things to avoid during a lightning storm: * avoid high ground - get to a low area, a ravine or ditch. Lightning often strikes the higher objects in the area. * avoid wide open areas (fields or beaches) - so you are not the tallest object in the vicinity; get off the water if you are in an open boat, get out of the water if you are swimming in a lake or pool. * avoid being close to tall objects - light pole, an individual tree or small group of trees. Tall objects are more likely to be struck by lightning than low objects. It might be safer to enter a forested area if it is relatively large and the trees are similar in height but stay away from the tallest trees in the forest. * avoid small open buildings - a bus or rain shelter * avoid metal fences or bleachers - a metal fence may be struck far away from you and the current may travel along the fence and jump to you. I keep seeing the warning to stay away from tall objects or anything metal.
1 person likes this
@lixiaos77 (1030)
• Shijiazhuang, China
24 Jul 08
I can't believe what happened near your house and i am glad to hear that every one is safe. The most scary thunder tale that i have ever heard is thunder in Vietnam. One of my uncle went to North Vietnam to help them defend American army's air attack. The thunder often stroke the mountains and roll down along the slope, because there are abundant ore in the mountains. They call it "roll-land-thunder". Perhaps there is metal ore that conduct elecricity easily beneath the tree.
@cbreeze (1207)
• United States
24 Jul 08
I think they call this dry lightening. I have heard of it, but have never witnessed it or even evidence of it myself. Scary huh.
• United States
24 Jul 08
Well,thats never really happened to me.But lighting did hit a few yard away from our house,But once my cousin got struck 3 times in a row!and lived! They say he was struck from the metal plate in his shoulder.
@jpso138 (7863)
• Philippines
24 Jul 08
The closest thing that I had with lightning is when I was inside our classroom. I was in high school back then. It was raining very hard and a lightning hit a branch of a tree just outside the window of our classroom. The branch broke and fall to the ground. We were all speechless of what had happened. I am glad that your grandchild are all safe. Best to you!
@kittenmc (464)
• United States
24 Jul 08
I have no idea. WOW! That is scary! Have you ever found out what happened?
@austere (2814)
• Philippines
24 Jul 08
that was really scary. ive heard scary, loud thunders and lightnings so close, you think you'll get hit, but i never really see anything like that. or see something drastic as a result of a lightning. i only hear those kind of stories in the news..good thing your are safe. ur grandchildren cannot be inside the house the shole time, and you to.., so just always pray for safety.:)
• Philippines
24 Jul 08
Oh!! that was scary. I have never seen things like that but I often heard stories about lightning and the damage it caused for people and animals and also trees similar as what you said. Oh my!! Good your grand children are not in the area when this thing happened.