By definition, all thunderstorms contain lightning because it takes the intense heat of a lightning strike to create thunder. In fact, the increase of lightning is one tool used to indicate a strengthening storm, and storms frequently generate a lot of lightning shortly before tornado formation. Thunder is caused by the sudden heating of the air as lightning passes through. How hot does a lightning bolt get?
The Science of Lightning
You already know to take shelter as soon as you hear thunder or see lightning–but have you ever wondered why lightning and thunder happen in the first place?
The latest generation of weather satellites, including the one launched last week (GOES-T Launches), contain sensors that detect lightning, giving a new view to forecasters which supplements the grid of lightning detectors on the ground:
Lightning Action Plan
There is no place outdoors which is safe from lightning. Even storms that seem to have only cloud-to-cloud lightning can produce cloud-to-ground lightning without warning. Your clue it’s time to go indoors is the thunder: if you can hear it the storm is close enough to strike you. Lightning bolts have been documented as far as 21 miles away from the parent storm!
Prepare 2022 coverage continues this afternoon with a focus on preparedness for pet parents.