Can there be lightning without thunder

Lightning without thunder: that's behind the phenomenon

During a thunderstorm, you can sometimes see lightning and then thunder. Find out what is behind this phenomenon in this article.

Lightning always comes with a thunder

If you see lightning in the sky, be ready for thunder. But sometimes you can't hear the thunder. This is because sound waves cannot propagate infinitely and the thunderstorm is still too far away.

  • A flash of lightning brings about a sudden and extreme increase in the temperature of the surrounding air.
  • As a result of the warming, the air expands so suddenly and so quickly that the sound barrier is broken and the air accelerates to over 1062 km / h. The loud bang of thunder is nothing more than a sonic boom.
  • The bang spreads in all directions, but the volume decreases with distance from the lightning bolt.
  • How far you can hear the thunder depends on many factors - for example whether you live in the lowlands, whether the weather is clear, wind direction and a lot more. For example, the sound can also be reflected by the buildings and forest around you.
  • Most of the time you can hear the thunder up to 25 km, in favorable conditions even up to 50 km. If you see lightning but no thunder follows, the natural spectacle is usually too far away.
  • If you can see a thunderstorm on the horizon, but not a single lightning bolt, and certainly not hear any thunder, this is what is known as "weather lighting". When the weather lights up, the thunderstorm is so far away that you can see the reflection of lightning in the clouds and in water molecules in the sky, but you cannot hear thunder.

Video tip: This is how lightning and thunder arise

In the next article we will explain how you can calculate the distance to the thunderstorm based on the time difference between lightning and thunder.