Very, very rarely. And, the lightning must originate from a cloud.
An answer is that the approach of a thunderstorm is unmistakable —sometimes you even hear the crack of thunder before you see any clouds. But that isn’t always the case. Is it possible to have lightning without hearing any thunder?
Is it possible to have lightning but no Thunder?
No, it is not possible to have lightning without thunder, according to NOAA. Thunder is a direct result of lightning. 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.
What do thunder clouds look like?
Thunderstorms can look like tall heads of cauliflower or they can have “anvils.” An anvil is the flat cloud formation at the top of the storm. The cloud growth abruptly stops and flattens out to take the shape of an anvil.
The mature cumulonimbus cloud has a distinctive flat, anvil shaped top which is formed when the their tops encounter high winds, which cause them to spread out sideways. The presence of thunderheads means that severe weather conditions like heavy rains, hail, lightning and thunder are imminent.
The answer is that these “fair weather” clouds look like cotton wool. If you look at a sky filled with cumulus, you may notice they have flat bases, which all lie at the same level. At this height, air from ground level has cooled to the dew point. Cumulus clouds do not generally rain – you’re in for fine weather.
Should thunderstorms happen without rain?
While it might seem like a contradiction in terms to have a thunderstorm without precipitation, it’s actually quite common in areas of the western United States where the heat index can be very high, particularly in late spring and early summer months with low humidity.
What happens if it doesn’t rain before thunderstorms?
If rain doesn’t arrive before the thunder, simultaneously, or shortly thereafter, a dry thunderstorm—and the potential for fire—is probably imminent. If there’s thunder, there will be lightning, although the severity of the lightning can vary depending on the storm system.
Why does dry thunderstorms are a danger?
Dry thunderstorms are often the culprits behind massive wildfires when lightning ignites a dry fuel source on the ground during fire weather season, which is the hot summer months. Although there’s no rain, at least at ground level, these storms still pack plenty of lightning.
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Why don’t we see lightning when there are no clouds?
Just because there are no clouds doesn’t mean the light wont scatter. Sunlight makes the sky very bright blue during the day, and in the brief moment when lightning strikes, it’s very bright – bright enough to make the scattered light visible. Usually, it’s cloudy anyway, and you mostly see the lightning-illuminated clouds.
Cumulonimbus clouds are also known as thunderheads due to their unique mushroom shape. These clouds often produce lightning in their heart. This is caused by ionized droplets in the clouds rubbing against each other. The static charge built up create lightning.