It's not unusual for a vehicle to be struck by lightning, but have you ever heard of a bolt of lightning striking the windshield of a car? Probably not, however, that's exactly what happened to an SUV in Brevard County last week.
WKMG's Justin Warmoth reports that the lightning struck a new Toyota Rav4 around 1:30 Friday afternoon. The car was parked on the lot of Mike Erdman's Toyota, and thankfully no one was injured.
"We heard the flagpole hit and it was just a definite crackle and it was like wow that was very close and then we heard it again," said General Manager Mike Farrell. "Then the next thing you know, my phone's ringing.. the fire people are showing up driving down the street."
Officials say the lightning struck through the windshield and melted the SUV's interior. The SUV is considered a loss and Farrell says they're waiting to hear back from the insurance company on coverage for the vehicle, which is valued at around $25,000.
This has many Meteorologists and Atmospheric Scientists scratching their heads and asking "why on Earth would lightning skip the entire metal casing of a vehicle and head right for the windshield?" This question, along with many others, is being left unanswered.
... That's not to say we haven't come up with our own ideas as to why.
Glass is not a conductor of electricity. In order for glass to be a conductor it must become molten. So perhaps the initial lightning strike heated the glass so much that it became a conductor? Another guess is maybe the windshield wipers attracted the lightning, and a secondary bolt went through the windshield.
Both are just speculations, and none of us really know why the bolt went through the windshield. What we do know is that this is very, very rare, and none of us have ever heard of it happening before. You shouldn't be worried if you're in your vehicle during a thunderstorm; it's still a safe place. Please remember though, the safest place to be during a storm is inside a building away from metal, water, plumbing, and electrical appliances.
To read more on lightning, click here .