Outrageous Experiments

Every Day Myths, Busted: Weather

posted: 01/05/17
by: Mary Beth McAndrews
Lightning Strikes
NOAA

You've heard a lot of weird things about the weather: lightning doesn't strike the same place twice, standing in a doorway will protect you from an earthquake, the list goes on. However, you can't always believe what you hear. These are some busted everyday weather myths!

Myth: Lightning doesn't strike the same place twice.

According to Chris Maier, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service, this is the most widely-believed weather myth. Jamie and Adam tackled this myth, showing that a lot of places, especially tall, pointy, metal buildings, will be struck by lightning multiple times. The Empire State Building, for example, has been struck over 100 times.

Myth: You can get a cold from the cold.

According to the Common Cold Centre, this myth is only partially true. First of all, viruses cause colds, not the weather. But, a new theory proposes that when our noses get colder, our immune system's defenses against infection are lowered. According to the Common Cold Centre, "Every time we breathe in we cool the nasal lining and weaken our local defenses against infection." Another theory is that we crowd together inside when it's cold, making it easier to spread germs.

Myth: You can drive through a flood.

While you may think your SUV can drive through feet of water, according to NOAA, it only takes two feet of water to float a vehicle. Even worse, if that water is moving quickly, it can sweep the vehicle away.

Tornado
NOAA

Myth: You'll be electrocuted if you touch someone who was struck by lightning.

Bodies cannot conduct electricity, so you will not be shocked if you touch someone struck by lightning. The most important thing to do in the situation is call 9-1-1 and administer first aid.

Myth: Flash flooding only occurs along flowing streams.

Flash flooding can occur anywhere, even in urban areas or dry river beds. Flooding can be caused by heavy rain fall and snowmelt. According to Ready.gov, it only takes 6 inches of water to knock someone down. So when you hear a flood watch or warning, take it seriously no matter where you live!

Myth: Opening the windows during a tornado will save a building.

Opening the windows during a tornado will not equalize the pressure. In fact, it will make it more likely for debris to fly into the building. According to NOAA, "It is the violent winds and debris that cause most structural damage" and you need to find cover rather than open windows!

Check back next week for more every day myths and how they can be busted!

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