Thunder and Lightning

The Creation, Effects, and Examples of Thunder and LIghtning

What Causes It?

  • Lightning: As clouds move around, they create positive and negative charges. The negative charges in a cloud attract to the positive charges on the ground, creating lightning.
  • Thunder: Thunder is caused by the rapidly heating air. The heated air creates shock waves, which produce thunder.


  • Lightning: Lightning is a visible electric charge that moves downwards until it reaches a good conductor.
  • Thunder: Thunder is an explosive sound that accompanies lightning.


  • Lightning: Being hit directly by lightning can kill you. Being in contact with metal during a lightning storm is very dangerous.
  • Thunder: The more frequently you hear thunder, the closer you are to lightning.


In North Carolina, in 1995, a golfer was killed by lighting. Other golfers claimed they heard thunder immediately after that lightning.

Interesting Facts

  • In Ancient Times, thunder was considered as the gods roaring in anger when unhappy.
  • An average of about 20 Million cloud-to-ground lightning strikes happen annually in the United States.
  • Lightning can reach up to 3 to 5 times hotter then the surface of the Sun.