Thunder and lightning all occur due to the release of energy – thunder is a soundwave, and lightning is the emission of electromagnetic energy. The reason we see a flash of lightning before hearing thunder is because light travels faster than sound.
The reason we see a flash of lightning before hearing thunder is because light travels faster than sound. The speed of light depends on what it is moving through – being slow in gases, fast in liquids, and even quicker in solids. In the air, sound travels at around 332 metres per second.
Another thing we wanted the answer to was: why is lightning seen before thunder is heard?
During a thunderstorm, lightning is seen first and thunder is heard later on because light travels faster than sound. If you see a lightning flash but cannot hear any thunder, the thunderstorm is most likely be quite far away from you. The thunderclap must have been deflected up the sky.
Why do you hear thunder after lightning?
Lightning is a gigantic spark of electricity that connects the thundercloud to the ground. It’s so hot that it causes the air to “explode ” — that’s the sound we hear as thunder.
Thunder is a direct result of lightning. If you see lightning but don’t hear thunder, it is because the thunder is too far away. Sometimes, people refer to this as heat lightning because it most often occurs in the summer, but it is no different from regular lighting.
The heated air expands explosively, creating a shockwave as the surrounding air is rapidly compressed. The air then contracts rapidly as it cools. This creates an initial CRACK sound, followed by rumbles as the column of air continues to vibrate. If we are watching the sky, we see the lightning before we hear the thunder.
Although thunder and lightning occur at the same time, the lightning is seen before the thunder is heard because light travels at a much faster speed than sound. Sound waves can also bounce off molecules in the air, causing it to travel in different directions.
You might be wondering “Does lightning always come before Thunder?”
Lightning comes before thunder in a way, the speed of light, the lightning comes before the speed of sound, the thunder. Once lightning occurs, the thunder will ALWAYS follow. There is a sound barrier that covers the earth. When the lightning breaks it, we see it faster than we hear the thunder.
What causes thunder to occur?
Answer Thunder is caused by the rapid expansion of the air surrounding the path of a lightning bolt. Monsoon storm producing a forked lightning bolt from the Red Hills Visitors Center at Saguaro National Park in Arizona.
The loud thunder that follows the lightning bolt is commonly said to come from the bolt itself. However, the grumbles and growls we hear in thunderstorms actually come from the rapid expansion of the air surrounding the lightning bolt.
What does the sound of Thunder serve as a warning?
The sound of thunder should serve as a warning to anyone outside that they are within striking distance of the storm and need to get to a safe place immediately! Thunder is created when lightning passes through the air. The lightning discharge heats the air rapidly and causes it to expand.
How far away can Thunder be heard from a storm?
Thunder is the sound caused by a nearby flash of lightning and can be heard for a distance of only about 10 miles from the lightning strike. The sound of thunder should serve as a warning to anyone outside that they are within striking distance of the storm and need to get to a safe place immediately!