Colorado Lightning Safety Awareness Week: The Science of Thunderstorms and Lightning

Colorado Lightning Safety Week continues through this Saturday. Today we discuss the science of lightning. 

Every thunderstorm produces lightning.  Lightning is a giant spark that moves within the cloud, between clouds, or between the cloud and the ground.  As lightning passes through the heats the air rapidly to a temperature of about fifty thousand degrees Fahrenheit.  This causes a rapid expansion of the air near the lightning channel.  This rapid expansion causes a shock wave that we hear as thunder. 

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