Fact vs. Myth: Lightning, tornadoes, birds and more - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

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Fact vs. Myth: Lightning, tornadoes, birds and more

(WAFF) -

In many homes, weather folklore and advice is passed down from generation to generation.

For this week's edition of Be Prepared, we’ll separate the myths from the facts.

Will any of the following weather myths surprise you?
 
Lightning never strikes the same place twice.

As discussed in previous episodes, this is a myth. Lightning often strikes the same place repeatedly. In fact, the Empire State Building is said to be struck up to 100 times per year!

Review: Staying safe during thunderstorms
 
Tornadoes avoid big cities, mountains, rivers, valleys, etc.

This is also is a myth. While terrain can certainly affect the weather, tornadoes can form anywhere.

You should open windows when a tornado approaches.

Another myth. The thought process behind this is to equalize pressure. However, not only will you be wasting valuable time opening windows, your home will equalize pressure on its own AND you’re risking letting the higher tornadic winds in your home.

An unusually high amount of birds means bad weather is on the way.

This is actually a fact – sort of.

While you certainly shouldn’t rely on this, or any other animal or insect folklore for your weather forecast, migrating birds are often privy to the weather, and it is not uncommon for flocks to make a pit-stop in a certain area if they sense that the weather will be taking a turn for the worse.

An overpass is a safe place to seek shelter if you’re caught out in a tornado.

Myth.

When winds are forced through narrow corridors, they actually accelerate. You could easily be blown out and/or struck with debris. Plus, if others follow suit, this could lead to significant traffic jams, stranded motorists, and impassable roads for emergency responders.

Your arthritis can predict the weather.

As you probably know from Brad’s aches and pains forecast, this is another semi-fact.

That all-day knee ache may be the first indication that the weather is changing, but I wouldn’t rely on it for specifics, like will it rain, snow, thunderstorm, or produce tornadoes. You can blame that ache, and probably your headache, on the barometric pressure, or the weight of the air pressing against the surface of the earth.

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