What causes heat lightning?

Asked on near Coshocton, OH
Topics: SciencePhysicsLightning

Answers


April Songer

Heat lightning is the name used for the faint flashes of lightning on the horizon or other clouds from distant thunderstorms that do not have accompanying sounds of thunder. This happens because the lightning occurs very far away and the sound dissipates before it reaches the observer.

Heat lightning is lightning too distant for thunder to be heard, observed as diffuse flashes near the horizon on summer evenings.

It is a misnomer for the faint flashes of lightning from distant thunderstorms that do not have accompanying sounds of thunder.

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What causes heat lightning?

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