The channel of air through which lightning passes can be heated to 50,000°F—hotter than the surface of the sun! The rapid heating and cooling of the air near the lightning channel causes a shock wave that results in the sound we know as “thunder.”
Every thunderstorm produces lightning. In the United States, an average of 300 people are injured and 80 people are killed each year by lightning. Although most lightning victims survive, people struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms.
How Far Away Is the Lightning?
Count the number of seconds between a flash of lightning and the sound of the resulting thunder.
Divide this number by 5 to get an estimate of the distance in miles to the lightning strike.
Remember, if you are outdoors and can hear thunder, you are in danger of being struck by lightning.
Visits these websites to learn more about lightning, its dangers, and how to keep your family safe.