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Can lightning strike with no rain in sight?

The answer is yes, and it may have happened in North Berwick on Tuesday.
Credit: Debra DiPietro

NORTH BERWICK, Maine — Viewer Debra DiPietro sent us this photo Tuesday and said her son heard a loud crack around 11 a.m. this morning. When she got home later in the day, she noticed the rocks in her driveway were melted on the surface.

It appears that lightning struck her driveway. The only problem? It wasn't even raining. 

NEWS CENTER Maine meteorologists Jess Conley and Keith Carson double-checked the radar from around that time in Debra's location and confirmed the lack of precipitation.

So what's the deal? Well, if it is a lighting strike, it may have been raining higher up in the atmosphere and evaporating before the radar beam could detect it - and definitely, before anyone on the ground could see it. That same cloud may have generated the lightning strike that hit the driveway. This can be referred to as a "dry thunderstorm" or "dry lightning." 

Either way, we're just glad everyone is safe! And thanks to Debra for sharing this picture!

Credit: Debra DiPietro