Lightning has always been a serious threat, thus the National Weather Service came up with the slogan “When Thunder Roars Go Indoors”. Their website on lightning safety has a tremendous amount of valuable information to absorb. This is one statement from that site :
“‘Bolts from the blue’ can strike 10-15 miles from the thunderstorm.”
On July 12th I witnessed just such a bolt. At the end of the day’s chase I wound up on a storm in Pittsylvania county, approaching from the north.
Just as I rolled to a stop at this vantage point a CG (cloud-to-ground) struck a couple of miles from me. The base of the storm was still 9-10 miles away at the time! The bolt came out of the anvil and snaked all the way to the ground.
So lightning is something to be wary of in any thunderstorm, even if it’s not raining where you are.