Tag Archives: Thunderstorm

What is St. Elmo’s Fire?

St. Elmo’s Fire is the flash of light that is seen around ships in a thunder storm.  It is an electrical discharge caused by the storm. St. Elmo’s Fire is the name sailors have given to the sudden glow of ghostly flames that can sometimes be men flickering around ships in stormy weather. The “fire” …

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What makes hail?

Hailstones are chunks of ice that form when layers of ice and snow freeze around frozen raindrops in a thunderstorm. During a summer thunderstorm you may hear chunks of ice, called hail, hit your windows. Hailstones begin as raindrops in a thundercloud.  As the raindrops fall through the cloud, they are tossed about by strong …

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What causes thunder?

Thunder occurs when a flash of lightning heats the air in its path.  The heated air expands, for wing a sound wave which we hear as thunder.  What makes the loud clap of thunder that often follows a flash of lightning?  Lightning is a big electrical spark.  During a thunderstorm, electrical charges are built up …

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What is a heat lightning?

Heat lighting is the flashes of light produced by distant electrical storms.  The flashes of lightning occur too far away for thunder to be heard. Sometimes, on warm summer evenings, we see so-called “heat lightning”—silent flashes of light in the distant sky.  Heat lightning is really light from a flash of chain lightning that takes …

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