What causes the sound of thunder?

Thunder is the sound caused by lightning. Depending on the distance and nature of the lightning, it can range from a sharp, loud crack to a long, low rumble (brontide). The sudden increase in pressure and temperature from lightning produces rapid expansion of the air surrounding and within a bolt of lightning.

Simply so, what is the cause of lightning?

Heavier, negatively charged particles sink to the bottom of the cloud. When the positive and negative charges grow large enough, a giant spark – lightning – occurs between the two charges within the cloud. This is like a static electricity sparks you see, but much bigger.

How does lightning start?

Cloud-to-ground lightning comes from the sky down, but the part you see comes from the ground up. A typical cloud-to-ground flash lowers a path of negative electricity (that we cannot see) towards the ground in a series of spurts. Objects on the ground generally have a positive charge.

How lightning is generated?

How is lightning formed? Water and ice move around inside the cloud; forced up by warm air currents, down by gravity, and compressed in the cloud. Just as rubbing a balloon can create static electricity, the particles in the cloud become charged. It’s not clear how it happens, but charges separate in the cloud.

Why should you stay away from water during lightning?

Swimming is particularly dangerous, as not only do swimmers protrude from the water, presenting a potential channel for electrical discharge, but also because water is a good conductor of electricity. Inside homes, people must also avoid activities which put their lives at risk from a possible lightning strike.

What does it mean when the thunder is really loud?

Thunder is caused by the rapid expansion of the air surrounding the path of a lightning bolt. From the clouds to a nearby tree or roof, a lightning bolt takes only a few thousandths of a second to split through the air. The loud thunder that follows the lightning bolt is commonly said to come from the bolt itself.

How does lightning cause thunder?

Thunder is caused by lightning. When a lightning bolt travels from the cloud to the ground it actually opens up a little hole in the air, called a channel. Once then light is gone the air collapses back in and creates a sound wave that we hear as thunder.

Is Thunder a sonic boom?

Lightning heats the air and causes shock waves. These in turn cause sonic booms—but you probably know them better as thunder! Lightning and thunder happen at the same time. But you see lightning before you hear thunder because light, which travels a million times faster than sound, arrives almost instantly.

What causes lightning in a volcano?

Thousands of lightning flashes have been observed over large volcanic eruptions. This type of lightning is thought to be caused by positively charged particles ejected from the volcano. The second phase, known as the plume phase, represents the lightning that forms in the ash plume at locations downwind of the crater.

Why does lightning happen?

Heavier, negatively charged particles sink to the bottom of the cloud. When the positive and negative charges grow large enough, a giant spark – lightning – occurs between the two charges within the cloud. This is like a static electricity sparks you see, but much bigger.

Why is the flash of lightning seen before the sound of thunder is heard?

Lightning can be seen before thunder is heard as light travels faster than sound. The noise of thunder is caused by the rapid expansion of heating the air. You can normally hear thunder up to 6 miles (10km) away from the lightning flash. The sound can last quite a few seconds!

Can you get hurt by thunder?

Most storms are harmless, even soothing to some, and nurturing to plants and wildlife. Thunder can’t hurt us, of course, but lightning strikes can be deadly. Still, lightning strikes are deadly, which is why you should go indoors when you hear thunder.

How fast is the speed of lightning?

The return stroke (the current that cause the visible flash) moves upward at a speed of about 320,000,000 ft per second or about 220,000,000 miles per hour (about 1/3 the speed of light). In comparison, the sound of thunder travels at about 1100 ft per second or about 750 miles per hour.

How hot is the lightning?

Yep, the answer is a bolt of lightning, which can reach temperatures of roughly 30,000 kelvins (53,540 degrees Fahrenheit). The sun, on the other hand, is eclipsed in this case – its surface temperature is just 6,000 kelvins (10,340 degrees Fahrenheit).

What causes snow thunder?

Thundersnow—when thunder and lighting occur during a snowstorm—most often appears in late winter or early spring, experts say. That’s because the ingredients for thundersnow—a mass of cold air on top of warm, plus moist air closer to the ground—often come together during that time.

How loud is thunder?

Thunder is produced by the explosive expansion of heated air surrounding a lightning channel. Thunder can be heard from a maximum distance of about 10 miles (16 km) under good atmospheric conditions. When lightning strikes close, thunder has a loud clap or snapping sound.

Why is there a lightning?

When enough charges collect, there is a bolt of lightning as the electricity travels between areas of opposite charge. Lightning can flow between clouds or from the cloud to the ground. The lightning jumps through the air, heating the air and making it expand. This movement of air makes the sound wave called thunder.

What does a long roll of thunder mean?

A vertical lightning strike from cloud to earth arrives at the ear as a bang. A cloud to cloud strike can sound like rolling thunder because the bang you hear comes along the length of the bolt.

How is a lightning different from a spark?

(Lightning works the same way as a spark, except that it happens on a massive scale. Lightning is created when water drops are churning around in a thundercloud. They gather either positive or negative electrical charges, so that soon one cloud may be positive and another cloud may be negative.

What is the cause of thunderstorms?

A thunderstorm is a storm with lightning and thunder. Its produced by a cumulonimbus cloud, usually producing gusty winds, heavy rain and sometimes hail. The basic ingredients used to make a thunderstorm are moisture, unstable air and lift. You need unstable air that is relatively warm and can rise rapidly.

What is created when lightning strikes sand?

The sand around the lightning strike fuses together, and fulgurite is formed. What are fulgurites? The word – based on the Latin world for thunderbolt – refers to a hollow glass tube formed when lightning strikes soil, silica, sand or even rock.

How do thunderstorms form?

The air cools as it rises. Water vapor condenses and forms cumulus clouds. When condensation occurs, heat (latent heat/energy ) is released and helps the thunderstorm grow. At some point, condensation high in the cloud (now in the form of water droplets and ice) falls to the ground as rain.

Why are thunderstorms so common?

It is cold relative to the air in your kitchen. The opposite scenario represents fall, when air aloft is still somewhat warm from the summer. Having the cold air aloft creates instability, which is a necessary ingredient for thunderstorm formation. Without lots of instability, thunderstorms do not happen.

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