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Posted by on Apr 13, 2015 in TellMeWhy |

What Is Heat Lightning?

What Is Heat Lightning?

Heat lightning is simply the usual kind of lighting which is discharging beyond the horizon. The light from the distant flash reaches our eyes, but the thundering sound is too far away for us to hear. Heat lightning is often seen on hot summer evenings.

A flash of lightning is actually a big electric spark. Lightning occurs when a huge amount of electrical energy builds up in a thundercloud. Then it discharges all at once. The hot spark splits the air with a thunderous crack. Flash we see in the sky is caused by hot, glowing air in the lightning channel.

The term “heat” in heat lighting has little to do with temperature. Since it is most likely associated with air mass thunderstorms in the warm season, the term “heat” may have been used because these flashes are often seen when surface temperatures are warm.

What color is heat lightning? The color of the bolt depends on how hot it is; the hotter the lightning, the closer the color will be to the end of the spectrum. The color spectrum in this case start with infrared which is red and the coolest up to ultraviolet which appears violet and is the hottest.

Can you get struck by heat lightning? Is Heat Lightning Dangerous? As for being struck by heat lightning, the odds are very low so long as it remains too far away to see the lightning path and hear thunder. However, if the storm is moving in your direction and continues to produce lightning, it is of course possible to be struck.

Content for this question contributed by Victoria Govoni, resident of Feeding Hills, Agawam, USA