Is Thunder Dangerous?

There are many people who actually tremble with fear at the sound of a clap of thunder during a thunderstorm. There is absolutely no reason to have any fear of thunder. By the time the sound the sound of thunder reaches you, the bolt of electricity which caused it has already done its work.

You hear the thunder after the lightning flash simply because sound travels much more slowly than light. Should you be afraid of lightning? Well, there is no question that lightning can cause damage, and in some rare cases it has even been known to kill people.

But, your chances of being struck by lightning are extremely slight. Lightning, of course, is a form of electricity, and this is what can make it dangerous. It is a giant spark of electricity that we see as bright flash of light.

It may jump across the space between two clouds, or from cloud to earth, or even from earth to cloud! During a storm, different electrical chargers (positive or negative) are built up by the clouds and the earth.

When difference between the charges becomes great enough, a spark which is lightning jumps the space between. During and after an electrical discharge, currents of air expand and contract. The expanding and contracting currents violently collide, and produce the noise we call "Thunder".

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