Are there physical signs you might experience to warn that lightning might be about to strike?

Often you can feel the static building up or hear rock sizzling. RUN!

Physical signs that lightning might strike here are opinions and answers from FAQ Farmers:

  • As lightning results from discharge of a static electric charge, prior to a local discharge there is obviously a build up of static charge. I personally experienced the phenomenon of my hair standing on end while out surfing immediately prior to a lightning strike on an adjacent shoreline cliff top.
  • You will also smell a slightly acrid ozone odor due to the ionized air that precedes a strike.
  • You can monitor an AM radio frequency that is not in use. You will frequently hear lightning discharges as loud, fast cracks of static. However, if the static starts building up on your car, etc., you may hear the "zipper," where it sounds like something whining/zipping up. This is a common sound right before a lightning bolt strikes within a very close distance.