Why does thunder seem to rumble on for a long time after a lightning strike?

The rolling sounds of thunder are some of the most amazing sounds nature produces.  But how do they get that rolling sound?  Well it all has to do with the speed of sound.  The speed of sound in air is about 770 mph, or 1129 ft/s.  This is a variable speed, based on perfect atmospheric conditions.  Of course in a thunder storm, conditions aren't perfect...  Anyhow, if you have ever had a lightning bolt strike close to you, you will be familiar with the fact that it sounds very different up close.  A close strike sounds like an explosion or gunshot, a very loud bang, followed by the

Subscribe to RSS - long