Thunderstorms are primarily notable for the stunning display of lightning. In fact, it is through this phenomenon that thunderstorms received their name. What does thunder have to do with lightning, you might wonder. Thunder is caused by lightning, after all.
Lightning is defined as an electrical discharge. A single bolt of lightning may heat the air around it to 30,000 degrees Celsius (54,000 degrees Fahrenheit)! As a result of the tremendous warmth, the air expands at an explosive rate. The expansion generates a shock wave, which eventually transforms into a resonating sound wave, which is known as thunder.
What Exactly Is Going On Within the Cloud?
As ice crystals high in the atmosphere of a thunderstorm cloud move up and down in the turbulent air, they collide with one another.. When two pieces of ice crash into one other, little negatively charged particles known as electrons are knocked loose and added to the other piece of ice. Cloud charges are separated into positive (+) and negative (-) charges by this method. Because of this, the cloud’s top becomes positively charged, whilst its base becomes negatively charged.
What is the formation of a lightning bolt?
Because opposites attract, the negative charge at the bottom of the storm cloud wants to connect with the positive charge on the ground, which is attracted to it. The formation of a stepped leader, which is a flow of negative charge that rushes toward the Earth once the negative charge at the bottom of the cloud becomes large enough Because the positive charges at the ground are attracted to the stepped leader, positive charge is drawn upward from the ground and into the leader. When the stepped leader and the positive charge come together, a powerful electric current is generated, which transports the positive charge upward into the cloud. The return stroke is the term used to describe this electric current. It appears to us as a dazzling flash of lightning in the sky.
Although you see the flash of lightning before you hear the thunder, thunder and lightning occur at nearly the same time. This is due to the fact that light travels at a significantly faster rate than sound.
What is the source of Lightning’s zap?
Lightening occurs when the negative charges (electrons) in the bottom of a cloud are attracted to the positive charges (protons) at the surface of the earth.
The concentration of electric charges must be large enough to overcome the insulating qualities of air in order to be successful in this endeavor. The result is a torrent of negative charges that cascades down towards a high point where positive charges have gathered due to the gravitational attraction of the storm front.
The link has been established, and the protons hurry up to meet the electrons on the other side. Then we see lightning and hear thunder, which is when the storm officially begins. In the course of a bolt of lightning, the air is heated, causing it to expand rapidly as a result. Thunder is a sound produced by rapidly expanding air and is associated with thunderstorms.