The car may have saved the deputy's life
Have you ever tried to catch a picture of a lightning bolt on camera during a storm? If so, you'll know it's incredibly difficult.
However, a dashboard camera from a Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office police cruiser managed to catch the moment when lightning struck their car while driving through a storm.
The video was posted by the HCSO's twitter account on July 6:
Lightning doesn't strike twice in the same place (or does it?)
Lightning can be fatal if it strikes a human. In the case of this Sheriff's Deputy, their life was probably saved by the electricity from the lightning bolt being insulated from them by the car. Whether the car and its electronics were in full working order after the strike, seems unlikely.
In April, lightning struck twice in the same place when two hockey fans were struck by lightning on the evening of April 2, while in the Tampa Bay Lightning stadium parking lot after the game. Both were taken to hospital in a stable but serious condition.
Florida - the lightning capital of the U.S.
The weather conditions in Florida are in part responsible for the large number of lightning strikes and injuries witnessed in the state each year. It's acknowledged as the lightning capital of the United States. The National Weather Service reported that of the 11 lightning related fatalities in the U.S. in 2021, four of those happened in Florida.
Lightning is such a familiar occurrence in the state, that it likely informed the choice of name of Tampa's NHL hockey team.
Data from 2013 reported by the CDC suggests that the odds of being struck by lightning in an average year are 1 in 500,000. Interestingly the same data suggests that two thirds of all lightning strikes occur in the afternoon, between 12 and 6pm. It also reveals that 32% of lightning injuries occur indoors.
Thankfully nobody was injured when the sheriff's cruiser was struck.
Have you ever witnessed a lightning strike up close? Have you witnessed a person or building being struck by lightning? Let me know in the comments section below.