Monday, 22 June 2009

Thunderstorms - how near is the lightning?

There was a thunderstorm this tea-time. I was safely sat at the bar but one of the crew had gone outside for a fag (I just gnawed on my 'chomper') when there was a loud boom of thunder.

Mr Smokie came back in. "That's 7 miles away is that" says he, "count t'seconds after t'lightnin' an' that's how many miles". Or words to that effect. I think there was richer linguistic use of the term 'fuck' (find out more here).

Now; I remember counting from the lightning when I was a kid but, sat in the bar tonight, I couldn't remember just what relationship was. Till I worked it out.

Any answers?


yorksnbeans said...

Mr. Smokie is correct (at least from what I was taught). 1 mile away for each second.

RBH said...

Erm, the speed of sound in air in the normal range of temperature and pressure is roughly 1,100 feet per second, so 5 seconds between the flash and the thunder is a dab over a mile. Given the vagaries of counting seconds mentally, 5 seconds per mile is a decent approximation.

Andy Holroyd said...

Faster than than a speeding bullet the sound of the gunshot hit yorksnbeans and she was easily able to duck out of the way.

RBH - spot on!

I'll post my working out later today.

yorksnbeans said...

You guys are way too mathematical for me!!

Andy Holroyd said...

YnBs, dont be disheartened.

Often it's what you don't know that makes those things kinda... interesting.

Bic said...

Five seconds per mile is close enough for government work.