You’ve probably seen heat lightning — those far off flickers of light miles away up in the clouds.
But did you know that heat lightning is really just ordinary lightning that is too far away for you to hear thunder from?
Lightning doesn’t ordinarily travel well beyond 10 to 12 miles, but you can easily see lightning flashes up in the clouds from over 50 miles away. That’s why you can’t always hear thunder when you see heat lightning.
So why do we call it heat lightning? The answer is probably best explained by the fact that lightning is usually seen during the warm summer evenings, when the hot conditions are ripe for thunderstorms to form.
This video shows a heat lightning storm in action:
I’m a roller coaster junkie, a weather enthusiast, a frequent traveler, and a numismatist. My love for coins began when I was 11 years old. I primarily collect and study U.S. coins produced during the 20th century. I’m a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG). I’ve also been studying meteorology and watching weather patterns for years. I enjoy sharing little-known facts and fun stuff about coins, weather, travel, health, food, and living green… on a budget.