what causes thunder


95F heatwave is on its way... but keep that brolly!Thunder: What causes thunder? The thunder, lightning, heavy rain, and gusty winds are hard to miss! Hope that explains it well enough to you! The Met Office said the resulting weather could cause a danger to life.Thunder and lightning are linked to one another - you can’t have either of them alone.The primary cause of thunder is the lightning itself after it has coursed through the air.In order to explain what causes thunder, you need to first explain what causes lightning.Lightning and thunder happen most frequently during the summer, as the core ingredients for a storm are moisture and warmth.Humid conditions and high temperatures cause moisture to rise high into the air, where it collides with cooler temperatures in the upper level of a cloud.Once these two conditions come together, the result is the development of a positive charge on the lower level of a cloud.Warm moisture droplets are kept in a constant two and fro with ice crystals, which charges static electricity.Electrons repulsed from the clouds as a result of the two atmospheric conditions arrive on the Earth’s surface, which negatively charges it.When the charge at the bottom of the cloud gathers enough strength, it looses out energy in the form of lightning.The positive charge of the lightning is then attracted to the negative charge of the ground, forming the dazzling arc of electricity we see during a storm.In the UK, where conditions are generally cooler and there is less energy for a storm cloud, lightning is often transferred between clouds.Thunder is a result of the lightning bolt’s path through the air within or outside the cloud.When lightning trails it opens up a pocket in the air called a channel.Once the light has passed through the air this channel then collapses in on itself, creating the sound wave we hear as thunder.The reason lightning always comes before thunder is because light waves travel faster than sound.

Thunder and lightning can be frightening, but why do the two go together? What causes thunder and lightning?


Currently, the Met Office displays a yellow weather warning across the majority of the UK for thunderstorms.The yellow warning states that “some places are likely to see severe thunderstorms” but there is “significant uncertainty in location and timing”.- The small chance that homes and businesses could be flooded quickly, with damage to some buildings from floodwater, lightning strikes and large hail- Where flooding or lightning strikes occur, there is a chance of delays and some cancellations to public transport - Sprays and sudden flooding could create difficult driving conditions and increase chances of accidents - The slight chance that power cuts could occurs and that other services to homes and businesses could be lost - The small change of fast flowing or deep flood water could cause danger to lifeThere are many myths and misconceptions around thunderstorms which could lead to people getting hurt, such as the idea that lightning never strikes the same place twice, or that it always strikes the tallest object.“Both are false, as lightning strikes the best conductor on the ground - whether it has been struck before or not,” states the Met Office.

Pete Gregoire, photographer, NOAA Weather in Focus Photo Contest 2015. When this attraction is strong enough, the charges join together and discharge, creating flashes of lightning.“Lightning is a large electrical spark caused by the negative charges moving from one place to another,” the Thunder occurs due to the quick expansion and heating of the air caused by lightning. The negative charged ice crystals are attracted to the positive charge, as well as to charges in nearby clouds and positive charges on the ground.

So long story short; force from lightning causes ripples in the air which cause thunder.

Thunder is caused by the bolt of electricity produced in a lightning strike. Why is thunder so loud? Tomasz Schafernaker turns his head to the clouds for the answer. There are various steps you can take before, during and after a thunderstorm to keep yourself safe.
As the warm air rises, it cools and condenses to create moisture and subsequently a cloud.If the conditions are right, the cloud will build into a cumulonimbus cloud - the type needed to produce thunder and lightning.Within a cumulonimbus cloud, there are updraughts and downdraughts of air. Thunder is caused by the rapid expansion of the air surrounding the path of a lightning bolt. The lighter positively-charged ice crystals are forced up to the top of the cloud whereas the heavier negative charged ice crystals sink to the bottom.

The updraughts carry moisture and water droplets up so high that they freeze and turn into ice crystals.

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