Jesse Ferrell

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Myth: Lightning Never Strikes Twice

September 6, 2009; 9:14 PM ET

One weather myth I get asked about frequently by readers is, does lightning ever strike (the same place) twice? Yes, it does. Places like the Empire State Building get struck 100 times a year. And besides, a lightning "strike" is actually composed of several different strikes travelling over the same path (see 3rd strike in this video). So technically one strike is several.

To put another spin on "lightning strikes twice," NASA also released a document in 2003 pointing out that the same lightning strike often strikes twice, or even three times, in fact the average "strike" hits 1.45 places on earth.


If you're wondering whether lightning ever strikes a place without a lightning rod twice, I can tell you of a tall pine tree near my parents' house that was hit by lightning multiple times during my youth. But more concrete proof comes from an article just posted last night regarding a church steeple that was hit twice by lightning in the same night.

Need more proof? The wonderful Mythbusters at Discovery Channel have uncovered stock video footage of lightning striking a building twice in a row in this video.


Lightning Seminar Part 1: Lightning 101, Lightning Lingo

Lightning Seminar Part 2: Oddities and Questions 1/2

Lightning Seminar Part 3: Oddities and Questions 2/2

Lightning Seminar Part 4: History of Vaisala

The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or


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About This Blog

Jesse Ferrell
Jesse Ferrell's WeatherMatrix blog covers extreme weather worldwide with a concentration on weather photos and Social Media.