As storms rolled through the region Sunday, it was a close call for Chris White, who caught a lightning bolt on camera hitting just outside his garage in Jefferson, Maryland.
“Figured I’d just get some shots of the sky lighting up. Next thing you know, a lightning strike right in front of me,” said White, who filmed the dazzling light show as storms moved through the Washington region, downing trees and power lines in Montgomery, Frederick and Fauquier counties.
Video of close-up lightning strike from tonight’s storms crossing Frederick County, MD. @MetMattRitter @weatherchannel @capitalweather @JustinWeather @nbcwashington @JimCantore pic.twitter.com/NZG3gglZRf
— Chris White (@GolferChris68) August 19, 2019
Even at several hundred feet away, White still felt the effects.
“Everything went really bright. Felt a kind of static electricity running through me. Kinda startled me quite a bit.”
WTOP’s Dave Dildine captured a timelapse of the storm:
— Dave Dildine (@DildineWTOP) August 19, 2019
NBC Washington meteorologist Matt Ritter says this kind of cloud-to-ground lightning is extremely dangerous. According to the National Weather Service, lightning can strike for miles around a storm, even if the sky looks clear. As the saying goes: If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning.
“Any single bolt of lightning can cause harm or even take a life. This thunderstorm was particularly dangerous,” Ritter said, adding that it’s best to avoid any risks and stay inside when severe weather approaches.