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sound produced along a path of a lightning flash, caused by the rapid heating and expansion of the adjacent air; lightning can heat air to temperatures as much as five times hotter than those at the surface of the sun. Rolling thunder occurs either as a result of the time difference between sounds from the far and near end of a flash, or when mountains, layers of air, or other obstructions cause reverberations. Since sound travels about 1 mi in 5 sec, the distance between a lightning flash and an observer may be determined by counting the seconds between the flash and the thunder. Thunder as far distant as 10 to 15 mi (15 to 25 km) from an observer is usually not heard, even though lightning is often seen. See thunderstormthunderstorm,
violent, local atmospheric disturbance accompanied by lightning, thunder, and heavy rain, often by strong gusts of wind, and sometimes by hail. The typical thunderstorm caused by convection occurs when the sun's warmth has heated a large body of moist air near the
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What does it mean when you dream about thunder?

Thunder may indicate a loud knocking at the door of the dreamer’s conscious mind to force the dreamer to pay attention and to learn. If accompanied by lightning bolts, inspiration and enlightenment may be indicated.


The sound emitted by rapidly expanding gases along the channel of a lightning discharge.


The loud rumbling caused by lightning. The lightning creates a large amount of heat, which causes air to expand rapidly and violently. These expansion waves travel at supersonic speeds and are heard as thunder.


See also Lightning.
epithet of Dionysus, meaning ‘thunder.’ [Gk. Myth.: Zimmerman, 43]
cruel Cyclops who controls the weather; able to cause great thunder. [Gk. Myth.: Parrinder, 47; Jobes, 241, 400]
god of thunder; corresponds to Thor. [Ger. Myth.: Leach, 321]
thunder god and controller of weather. [Vedic Myth.: Leach, 521]
Thor’s hammer. [Norse Myth.: Brewer Dictionary, 1076]
god of thunder. [Norse Myth.: Leach, 1109]


a loud cracking or deep rumbling noise caused by the rapid expansion of atmospheric gases which are suddenly heated by lightning
References in periodicals archive ?
As the sound kept resounding in her ears, a strong clap of thunder broke the silence of the house into a terrible scream and a call of helplessness echoed throughout the whole neighborhood.
Although these occur simultaneously, because light travels faster than sound, we see the flash before we hear the clap of thunder.
Like a clap of thunder, District Attorney Steve Cooley started dropping legal valentines on Hahn's friends' doorsteps, and it was instantly glaringly obvious to everybody in City Hall that commissioners and board members should not be collecting money for politicians while overseeing the city government.
It was so long it forked four times, and the clap of thunder that immediately followed completely unnerved me.
butterfly that flitters past you, and the loud clap of thunder that
Your written guidelines should spell out specifically the circumstances that result in horseback activities being canceled and when they could safely resume (twenty minutes after a clap of thunder, for example).
A blue flash of lightning that will bring in its wake another clap of thunder illuminates the patio.
A clap of thunder accompanies every mention of the dreaded Moriarty, a criminal mastermind and Holmes' arch nemesis.
Noah, a six-year-old border collie, hasn't been seen since he fled in panic after a freak clap of thunder.
In 1988, he was wakened by what sounded like a clap of thunder overhead.
After all, what is so startling about a clap of thunder, even on a cloudless day?
Players will hear and feel a clap of thunder, after which the room goes black.