LIGHTNING WILL HIT THE BEACH!
STAY OFF THE BEACH IN A STORM. lIGHTNING HITS THE WATER. lIGHTNING HITS THE BEACh!!!
tHAT BEING SAID, SOMETIMES YOU JUST CAN'T WIn:
Sometimes, you are out
in absolutely clear skies with not a hint of a
storm and WHAM, poop happens. What
happened here could happen anywhere. This
isn’t an OBX thing.
On August 23, 2019 the sky was clear in Kitty Hawk when lightning hit the beach. They were reported doing CPR on a number of people although only one was hospitalized. He was in the water. The helicopter was called but couldn't fly.
No clouds. Beautiful clear sky. Thunderstorm beyond the horizon to the west, over the Sound. That storm could not be seen or heard.
Here's the NOAA story on why sometimes you are just so screwed:
What is a “bolt from the blue”?
A “Bolt from the Blue” is a cloud-to-ground flash which typically comes out of the back side of the thunderstorm cloud, travels a relatively large distance in clear air away from the storm cloud, and then angles down and strikes the ground. These lightning flashes have been documented to travel more than 25 miles away from the thunderstorm cloud. They can be especially dangerous because they appear to come from clear blue sky.
A helmeted bicyclist experienced a lightning strike to the head under fair weather conditions with a cloudless sky. It was determined that the bolt probably originated in a thunderstorm that was about 16km away and obscured by mountains.
Lightning strikes the ground approximately 25 million times each year in the U.S. According to the NWS, the chance of an individual in the U.S. being struck during a given year is one in 1.2 million. Assuming an average life-span of 80 years, a person's odds over their lifetime becomes one in 15,300. You can read more about where these numbers come from on the National Weather Service website.