Click on image for full size
Photograph provided courtesy of Steve Albers
How Far Away Is The Thunderstorm?
It takes 3 seconds for sound to travel 1 kilometer (5 seconds to travel 1
mile). The next time a thunderstorm comes
your way, look out your bedroom window and watch for lightning.
When you see a lightning flash count the number of seconds until you hear
thunder. Use the above
calculation to figure out how far away the thunderstorm is.
Example: You see lightning flash across the sky. 15 seconds
later you hear thunder. How far away was the lightning bolt?
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
The Fall 2009 issue of The Earth Scientist
, which includes articles on student research into building design for earthquakes and a classroom lab on the composition of the Earth’s ancient atmosphere, is available in our online store
You might also be interested in:
Thunderstorms are one of the most thrilling and dangerous types of weather phenomena. Over 40,000 thunderstorms occur throughout the world each day. Thunderstorms form when very warm, moist air rises into...more
Lightning is the most spectacular element of a thunderstorm. In fact it is how thunderstorms got their name. Wait a minute, what does thunder have to do with lightning? Well, lightning causes thunder....more
Here's a neat experiment that makes rain in a jar. You will need a parent or teacher, a jar with a metal lid, 1 cup of water, a hammer, a nail, ice cubes, and salt. Have your parent or teacher in the...more
Ever looked up in the sky on a lazy Sunday afternoon and just watched the clouds? Well, here's a project where you can do just that and learn something too! This project works best if you do it with a...more
Altocumulus clouds (weather symbol - Ac), are made primarily of liquid water and have a thickness of 1 km. They are part of the Middle Cloud group (2000-7000m up). They are grayish-white with one part...more
Altostratus clouds (weather symbol - As) consist of water and some ice crystals. They belong to the Middle Cloud group (2000-7000m up). An altostratus cloud usually covers the whole sky and has a gray...more
Cirrocumulus clouds (weather symbol - Cc) are composed primarily of ice crystals and belong to the High Cloud group (5000-13000m). They are small rounded puffs that usually appear in long rows. Cirrocumulus...more