Every wonder how far away the storm coming towards you is? There is an easy way to figure it out!
When you see a flash of lightning, start counting the seconds - one, two, three, four, until you hear
the roar of thunder. Then divide the number you get by five to determine how many miles away it is.
This will give you a rough estimate of how far away the center of the storm is.
The Science Behind Determining How Far Away The Thunder Storm Is
Lightning and thunder take place at the same time, but light and sound travel to us at different
speeds, so they reach us at different times. Light travels at 186,000 miles per second, so it only
takes a fraction of a second to reach us. We see lightning the very moment it flashes.
It takes 5 seconds for sound to travel a mile. When a thunderstorm is near, the thunderclap is loud
and sharp. When its far away, it's a low rumble. Ordinarily you can't hear thunder more than 10 or
15 miles away. If you see a flash of lightning and hear thunder at just about the same moment, the
storm is right above you.
Thunder is created when a small amount of air quantity is moved very quickly. Objects create
sound when they vibrate. Humans only hear sound when an object vibrates at least 16 times per
second and not more than 20,000 times per second. When a flash of lightning moves through the
atmosphere, it heats up the nearby air, and causes it to expand rapidly. It is this movement that
causes the sound. A short crash of thunder results from a short crash of lightning. Rolling thunder
occurs when lightning covers a large area, or when clouds, mountains, or other obstructions
Despite the sayings lightning may indeed hit the same spot or person multiple times. One US
National Park Ranger was struck by lightning seven times! And remember lightning takes the
shortest path. It hits the highest objects - a tall tree, tower, house, or person. Modern skyscrapers
are built so when lightning hits they do not do any damage or harm. If your outside go indoors or
get into an automobile. If your outside and cant get to a car or inside seek shelter in a low area,
crouch and bend over on your knees or get under a very small tree. Keep away from tall things and
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