GREENSBORO, N.C. — In light of the summer storms that brought strong storms to the Triad July 4 weekend, WFMY News 2 chief meteorologist Tim Buckley pointed out an uncommon but not impossible phenomenon. Two bolts of lightning had struck a few miles away from the storms in Greensboro, in locations where it wasn't even raining.

Lightning strike in Greensboro
Meteorologist Tim Buckley


If it is true lightning can strike in locations where it isn't raining, how does the phenomenon happen?


  • WFMY News 2 Meteorologist Terran Kirksey


"Lightning is just an electric current, formed between opposite charges between the cloud and the ground," Kirksey said.

He explained in a thunderstorm, positive charges are at the top of the storm, in the anvil, and negative charges are near the ground.

Lightning strikes can occur within the cloud and also between the cloud and the ground.

Lightning also can strike the ground 10 miles away from the storm, because sometimes the top of the cloud can extend outward -- away from where it is actually raining.

Lightning Can Strike Far From Storms
Meteorologist Terran Kirksey


Yes, lightning can strike where it isn't raining, as the top of the cloud can extend several miles out.

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