It’s that time of year, a time for heat and humidity! That heat and humidity of summer often spells thunderstorms. Most thunderstorms occur during the afternoon when heating is at its highest. But on occasion thunderstorms happen at night. A lot of the time when thunderstorms form at night you can see the lightning long before you have rain or hear thunder.
The quick answer is yes, what you saw was what most folks call heat lightning. But the word heat in heat lightning is a misnomer. Technically it's called distance lightning. The reason it's been called heat lightning is because we usually see it on warm summer nights and associate the warmth with the lightning. You can see this lightning as far away as one hundred miles from the thunderstorm. The reason you don't hear thunder is because sound from thunder usually only travels no farther than ten to fifteen miles from the lightning bolt.
Like my Facebook page: facebook.com/joshfitzwsaz
Follow me on Twitter: twitter.com/wsazjoshfitz