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Glossary: Lightning


Lightning is a discharge of electricity that occurs in mature thunderstorms. It always precedes thunder because lightning causes thunder. The lightning stroke momentarily heats the air it passes through to an incredibly high temperature. It can heat the air to 30,000 degrees Celsius. The rapidly expanding air produces a sound called thunder. Along with the lightning and thunder, severe thunderstorms produce destructive hail, downbursts, and even tornadoes.

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