In my country, there is a popular belief that during a thunderstorm, windows should be closed because of the risk of ball lightning.

The answers to this other question explain that ball lightning “is a well-documented phenomenon”. Although, I can't find any statistics showing how often a ball lightning occurs, nor how many people were actually killed by it when being inside.

There is also this question which talks about the slight risk that open windows present in a context of an ordinary lightning striking an object inside the house, but ball lightning is not mentioned.

Is it an actual risk to leave windows open during a thunderstorm in a context of ball lightning? How big is the risk of being killed or injured by a ball lightning entering the house (especially compared to the risk of being hit by a car when crossing the road ?

  • Just outta interest, what country is this? Jul 3, 2015 at 9:31
  • 1
    @MikeyMouse: France. It seems that the same belief exists in Belgium and Russia as well. Jul 3, 2015 at 10:36
  • 2
    There is at least one reported case from 1944 of ball lightning making a hole in a closed window in Swedish and with Google Translate. But in any case it seems that ball lightning is rare and so it might be difficult to claim there was a serious risk either way.
    – Henry
    Jul 6, 2015 at 6:47


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .