Author Topic: Energy released by lightning  (Read 1034 times)

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Offline DaleReid

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Energy released by lightning
« on: May 05, 2023, 01:38:30 PM »
This is a lightning subtopic, but thunder is a frequent aftermath, so I hope this is in the right place.

I'm a thunder and lightning junkie, and we are finally getting some convective storms here in the Midwest.

Today we had a rare occurrance of a few energetic cells pass a few miles south of me, zero wind here, nice gentle drizzle to a moderate rain and nice rolling thunder.

My question is sparked by a couple of the strikes which were about 1 to 2 miles distant, had a nice flash (bolt not visible) and then shortly after the thunder started, an marked increase in the intensity of it which caused the whole house and garage to shake sort of like what I'd imagine an earthquake would do (but longer).

If my house shook, I'd assume every building in the area of the strike did too, and how much energy would that take?  A kiloton or so of energy released by a bomb?  I've never been near any weapons like being in the service or front line or VN or such, so I cannot speak to how much one of the big bombs dropped would  shake the ground. 

That physical impact on the earth from a bolt of electricity still is just amazing to me.


And an additional pop up questions; for those with at-home seismic sensors, does thunder cause false readings very often?  I'm assuming the way my house and hill shook, that it would have been picked up by those sensors. 

Dale
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Offline CW2274

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Re: Energy released by lightning
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2023, 05:57:32 PM »
My question is sparked by a couple of the strikes which were about 1 to 2 miles distant, had a nice flash (bolt not visible) and then shortly after the thunder started, an marked increase in the intensity of it which caused the whole house and garage to shake sort of like what I'd imagine an earthquake would do (but longer).
Maybe one of these....

https://www.weather.gov/jetstream/positive

Offline davidmc36

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Re: Energy released by lightning
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2023, 06:03:33 PM »
300,000 Amps at one billion volts makes 3e+14 Watts.

That's a lot!