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What causes lightning and thunder?

WHAS11's Kaitlynn Fish explains how lightning is formed and where thunder comes from.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Let's learn about how lightning forms! 

On warm days, clouds grow and rise in the atmosphere. This can produce thunderstorms.

Particles in those clouds can then become charged with electricity. When differences between those charges become too great, a burst of electricity is discharged as lightning.

Lightning can occur between positive and negative charges in a thunderstorm cloud--we call that "intra cloud lightning." It can also occur between opposite charges from a cloud to the ground. Both positive and negative cloud to ground lightning is possible.

But where does thunder come from?

Thunder is a sound made by a flash of lightning. When lightning heats the air around it, it causes the air to expand quickly. As it expands, a sound wave is created, making the sound of thunder.

Once you see lightning, start counting. For every set of 5 seconds you count before you hear thunder, lightning is one mile away.

If you see lightning, it is always a good idea to seek shelter inside.

Follow Meteorologist Kaitlynn Fish on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

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