Heat lightning: Fact or fiction?

Published: Tuesday, July 02, 2019 @ 12:38 PM

Viewers in the area reported seeing what they call "heat lightning" across the Miami Valley last night.

Heat lightning — it’s a term used during the summer months. 

The videos above were sent in by our viewers across the Miami Valley Monday night, using this term. But, what are we seeing exactly? 

“Heat lightning isn’t actually a real thing,” said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Jesse Maag. “It’s lightning observed from a far distance giving it an orange/reddish hue.”

Content Continues Below

>> McCall Vrydaghs: 3 key ingredients required for thunderstorm

That’s right — heat lightning isn’t a real thing. It’s lightning from a distant thunderstorm.

The lightning is typically at a distance that’s close enough to see the flash, but too far to hear the thunder, said Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs.