lightning and then thunder!

Natacha Payà 4 min
Lightning in a house
Storms are a widely used resource in horror movies, but they are not always used well.

In the days around Halloween horror movies start to invade programming. In many, we see scary scenes accompanied by stormy nights … but fiction is not always the same as reality. In the cinema, the sound of thunder usually appears at the same time as lightning, and it is not always like that. This only happens when lightning strikes very close … or just above!

The cocktail of storms: lightning and thunder

During the development of a storm we can appreciate, especially at night: the lightning bolt (lightning bolt), then the sound of thunder and finally the rumbling of other sounds linked to the main thunder. Now, depending on how far away we are from the flash, the time difference between one thing and another can be noticeable.

The delay between lightning bolt and the sound of thunder It is because the speed of light is much faster than the speed of sound. Paraphrasing the AEMET, the lightning is the discharge or group of electrical discharges produced by the storm, while thunder is the result of the expansion of gases along the discharge channel.

A matter of speeds

The light that we perceive of things and objects it travels at around 300,000 kilometers per second. For that reason, the lightning that we see ” falling ” occurs at the same time it happens. However, the sound is different since it travels at speeds of around 340 meters per second.

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This means that it takes about 3 seconds for thunder to travel 1 kilometer. Surely the directors of the films do not notice this, it seems that the rays are always falling on the houses of the protagonists. For instance, and between lightning and thunder there are 12 seconds, so the storm is 4 kilometers away.

Very Halloween: after the thunder, the rumbling

When they occur the rays, the air temperature can exceed 30,000 ºC… y los 50,000 ºC, much more than the temperature at which the Sun shines (6,000 ºC). When the air heats up so quickly, se expands and contracts violently, similar to an explosion. Hence the sound of thunder.

The rumbling Arrive now, when the sound of thunder is deflected in many directions as it travels through the air. This range of different sound waves (colliding and bouncing off trees, buildings and mountains) reach our ear as a continuous sound, almost like a fireworks.

Now that it’s getting closer HalloweenSome of us will have the advantage of finding out how far away the storm is … what if we take advantage of it?