The Truth About Lightning Bolts Flashing Before Your Eyes

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Are you curious about the truth about lightning bolts flashing before your eyes? If so, then this is the blog post for you.

In my last blog post, I talked about what thunder is and how it’s created. In order to understand why lightning is created and why it flashes, we need to first understand what thunder is and how it’s created, so if you haven’t read my previous blog post, I would suggest reading that one before reading this one.

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When you see lightning, it is a sign that lightning has already struck your area. The bolt of lightning has either struck the ground in front of you or it has struck very nearby in the sky. This is why you always see lightning following thunder.

Thunder and lightning are caused by the same weather phenomenon. Lightning is created during a storm when negatively charged particles travel up from the ground into the clouds. As these particles make their way up, they clash with oppositely charged particles forming an electrical discharge. The heat generated by this discharge turns into sound waves which travel down through the air and cause thunder.

Tornadoes, hurricanes, and thunder all result from convection, or the rising of warm air and its subsequent descent in a different location. They are all made possible because of instability in the atmosphere that allows warm air to rise quickly and cool air to sink slowly. When warm air rises, so do a lot of water vapor molecules that were mixed in with it. Once these molecules reach higher altitudes, they will no longer be below freezing temperatures and they freeze into ice crystals that form raindrops and sometimes hail stones. While this is happening, other water molecules at lower levels are cooling down and becoming heavy enough to sink back towards earth where they will evaporate again

Lightning is an amazing process. It is nature’s way of taking the energy of a thunder storm and converting it into light. The light that we see as lightning takes time to travel through the air, but the bolt itself moves very quickly. In fact, a typical lightning bolt moves at about 90,000 miles per second!

In order to understand this better, we must also realize that light travels much faster than sound. In fact, light can travel about 1/7th of a mile in a single millisecond. That means that it will take about 1/5 of a millisecond for the light generated by a lightning bolt to reach your eyes after you hear the thunderclap of the lightning strike. So by the time you see the flash of lightning, it has already happened!  The flash itself is actually caused by charged particles moving up and down in the channel that was created by the lightning bolt.

Truly understanding how incredible this phenomenon is will help you appreciate more fully just how amazing nature really is!

Through a quirk of nature, lightning bolts often flash just after the thunderclap that warns of their coming. The phenomenon, known as “flash lightning,” has an obvious explanation: the bolt is close enough to reflect sound waves back to earth before they reach your ears.

Trouble is, it’s not true.

Although flash lightning has been studied for more than two centuries, no one has ever seen a flash of lightning near the instant of a thunderclap. And the theory doesn’t hold up to scrutiny even in ideal conditions.

Scientists have now found that flash lightning is a bit more complicated than anyone thought. But they still expect that one day soon they’ll be able to predict where and when you’re most likely to see it—and someday, perhaps, even why.

When you see lightning, it is because the flash of light travels from the lightning to your eyes much faster than the sound of the thunder travels from the lightning to your ears.

What people see is known as a “positive” flash because it is brighter than the background and seems to come from a specific direction (i.e., directly above). What they hear is known as a “negative” thunder clap because it is softer and less distinct than the surrounding noise and seems to originate in all directions at once.

Lightning is one of the most awesome natural phenomenons and to many people, it’s also one of the most mysterious. It’s a big bolt of electricity that strikes from the sky and can strike anywhere, anytime.

Lightning is a complicated phenomenon caused by very simple forces. It begins with moisture in the air that condenses into droplets and becomes heavy enough to fall to earth as rain. Lightning occurs when the charge within a cloud of these droplets builds up to a certain level, causing a discharge between the top of the cloud and some other spot on the ground.

Trees are often struck by lightning because they are good conductors of electricity. Rainwater will flow down their trunks and branches, collecting an electrical charge from friction along the way. When this charge becomes greater than that within the thunderclouds above them, a discharge occurs.

The initial flash of light you see is not lightning but rather the breakdown of air around a channel through which electricity has flowed between the cloud and your eye, which is itself an excellent conductor. This initial flash will appear approximately 1/3 of a second before the channel discharges a current strong enough to produce the bright flash we usually associate with lightning.

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