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Phillip’s Weather Trivia: Time between lightning and thunder

A bolt of lightning is so hot is causes a sound wave which is thunder
Published: Dec. 30, 2021 at 1:58 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Lightning is typically rare in winter, but we had some early Thursday and will likely have more over the next few days. Lightning is an electical discharge which briefly equalizes the charges between the Earth and the thunderstorm or between different parts of the cloud. Lightning is so hot it causes the thin strip of air it strikes through to expand and then immediately contract, creating a sound wave. This sound of the air exploding is thunder. Thunder is harmless, but lightning is not. The trivia question asks how long it takes to hear thunder if a lightning stike hits 2 miles from you.

Phillip's Weather Trivia Question Dec 30
Phillip's Weather Trivia Question Dec 30(WITN)

These are all good options, however light travels much faster than sound, so I can tell you 2 seconds is too fast. That leaves 3 choices. Make a selection and check below to see how you did.

Phillip's Weather Trivia Answer Dec 30
Phillip's Weather Trivia Answer Dec 30(WITN)

Thunder takes 5 seconds to travel 1 mile. So, if the lightning strike is 2 miles away, then thunder will reach you in 10 seconds. If you can remember the 5 seconds for 1 mile rule, you will be able to tell how far away lightning is when a storm approaches. If you ever hear thunder immediately after the flash, the strike was very close to you. Always seek safety indoors from a thunderstorm. It is much safer than being outside during lightning. - Phillip Williams

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