EXPLAINER: What causes thunder? | WWLP


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CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Many residents across western Massachusetts heard some rumbles of thunder Saturday morning and 22News has been getting some messages asking what thunder is and why it takes so long to hear it after lighting strikes.

Well, to start thunder travels in sound waves caused by the lighting strike. On average, thunder travels one mile in five seconds. Next time you see a lighting bolt, count by one until you hear the thunder and that will tell you how far you are from a lighting strike. If it’s five seconds you are a mile away, ten seconds it’s two miles and fifteen seconds it’s three miles.

Thunder is created by the rapid cooling of the atmosphere after lighting strikes, which can heat up the atmosphere as hot at 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is three times hotter than the sun.

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