How far away is that storm? Measuring time between lightning and thunder

Weather

It’s lightning safety week and each day this week the National Weather Service from Paducah has been putting out facts about lightning and how to keep you safe.

Unfortunately this year, two people in the U.S. have lost their lives due to lightning. Here is a look at the number of deaths since 2006.

All deaths were activities outdoors, with fishing being the number one leisure, roofing being the number one work, and yardwork being the around the home activity that lead to the deaths.

Thunder is the result air molecules rapidly expanding because of heat. You can bet it expands fast because a lightning bolt can be as hot as 54,000 degrees.

A general rule of thumb to know how far off a bolt of lightning is when you hear thunder, if you count the number of seconds between the flash of lightning and the sound of thunder, and then divide by 5, you’ll get the distance in miles to the lightning: 5 seconds = 1 mile, 15 seconds = 3 miles, 0 seconds = very close.

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