Why is it windy before a thunderstorm pours?
Everyone knows that a thunderstorm is usually preceded by a
gust of wind and followed by pouring rain, which is more common
in mountainous areas. Why is it windy before a thunderstorm pours?
The reason is that during summer, the air near the ground
heats up dramatically and the warm and humid air is
particularly powerful under the influence of favorable
weather systems. Especially when
the horizontal air is blocked by mountains and uplands,
on the one hand, the lifting power from the terrain raises
up the warm and humid air along the hillside; on the other
hand, the heat from the mountains also expand the air near
the stratum, making it rise and easily form thunder clouds.
As a result, there are both strong updrafts and downdrafts
inside thunder clouds.
When the cold air from the thunder cloud reaches the ground,
it quickly spreads around, forming a heap of cold air. Due
to the density of the sinking cold air, the pressure of the
cold air heap rises rapidly, resulting in the cold anticyclone,
known as the thunderstorm high.
In this way, wind starts blowing as a result of the large
difference in pressure in the small area. When the wind pours
from the center of the thunderstorm high, it will accelerate
abruptly, generally up to more than 10 meters per second, and
sometimes up to 30 meters per second.
Thunderstorms arrive soon after the gusts, followed by low
pressure that produces precipitation. That’s why winds tend
to precede thunderstorms.
However, not all thunderstorms are preceded by strong winds.
Sometimes fierce winds and thunderstorms strike at the same
time. Sometimes the sky is filled with thunder clouds, but
there is only rain without wind. This is because for some
certain thunderstorms, due to their specific time, location
and conditions, and some characteristics of its own, there
The Mystery of the Flashing and Rumbling of Thunder and Lightning
Why do we always see lightning before we hear thunder while the
lightening and rumbling sound actually happen at the same time?
This is because light travels much faster than sound. Light
travels 300, 000 kilometers per second in the air, and at this
speed it can travel seven and a half times around the earth's
equator in one second. Sound travels about 340 meters per second
through the air, about one-ninth of the speed of light.
It takes only a few millionths of a second for light to reach the
ground from where lightning strikes, and longer for sound to
travel the same distance. Sometimes lightning doesn't meet thunder,
either because the clouds are too far away from us, or because the
sound is not loud enough. Because as sound travels through the air,
its energy gets weakened, and eventually it becomes inaudible.
There is a flash of lightning in the sky, there will a clap of thunder,
but sometimes we see a flash of lightning with continuous thunder. And
the sound lasts for a long time. This is because generally the lightning
in the sky is very long. Some linear lightning is as long as 2000 meters
to 3000 meters, even 10,000 meters or so.
On one hand, each part of the lightning is differently far from us, so
the time for the thunder to reach us also varies. Lightning, on the other
hand, does not usually stop after occurring once. It usually flashes
several times in succession in a second.
In addition, when thunder hits the ground, buildings, mountains or clouds
in the sky, it will reflect and generate echoes. As these echoes reach our
ears one by one, the "rumble" of thunder happens. Sometimes, for several
reasons, the peal of thunder can go on for a minute or so.