It's thunderstorm season in Western New York and we wondered if all the things our Moms told us about being safe in a thunderstorm were true.

It turns out, she was right!

Can you really tell how far away a thunderstorm is by counting the time between the lightning flash and hearing the thunder?

That is true.

Weather.gov has this to say:

"Since you see lightning immediately and it takes the sound of thunder about 5 seconds to travel a mile, you can calculate the distance between you and the lightning. If you count the number of seconds between the flash of lightning and the sound of thunder, and then divide by 5, you'll get the distance in miles to the lightning: 5 seconds = 1 mile, 15 seconds = 3 miles, 0 seconds = very close."

What about taking a shower during a thunderstorm, is it safe to do so? It is not!

According to Accuweather:

"Lightning can strike and electricity can travel through pipes and water, shocking you, according to John Jensenius, lightning safety specialist for the National Weather Service (NWS)."

Not that many of us are still rocking landline phones at home, but I remember always being warned not the use the phone during a storm. Can you?
You can, and can't. It depends on what kind of phone.

TreeHugger.com says,

"Using a corded telephone during a thunderstorm is discouraged because the phone is physically connected by wires to the outside. A cell phone, however, has no such physical connection and the electric current from a nearby lightning strike cannot reach it. It is perfectly safe to use a cellphone during a thunderstorm."