B Tornado Biggest Lightning Thunder BOOM Explosion EVER

I was a storm chaser for many years. I have seen 100s of tornadoes. I have seen all types of lightning, hail, wind, rain, etc. I thought I had seen it all until last night. Radar shows counter clock wise rotation moving east I appeared to me in the exact path. There were no lightning strikes to the ground only lightning in the clouds. It was only sprinkling a small amount of rain, wind gusting to about 30 mph. Radar showed rotation was 4 miles away. There was a flash of lightning in the clouds that light up the clouds like the sun came out, it light up the whole country side and light up where where was standing I could see everything in the dark for several seconds. 20 seconds later BOOM thunder louder than 1000 lbs of dynamite. The shock wave hit me and shook everything even the ground. Thunder sound rumbled across the country side for 25 seconds. I never hear thunder like that it reminds we when we use to play with explosives and shoot off 1000 lbs of dynamite all at once like it was a large firecracker. Few minutes later tornado was on the ground 1 mile away coming in my direction. Tornado passed me to the north about 1/2 mile away. Storm moved on 200 miles to the east.

I have seen 1000s of lightning strikes some only 20 ft away where lightning strike and thunder were both at the same time it was very close and extremely loud too. The lightning strike last night was not close and thunder was many times louder than lightning 20 ft away. WOW I understand lightning strikes to the ground but I don't under stand lightning stinks in the clouds how can they build up to such a tremendous explosion of energy and not strike the ground? .


Homework Helper
We were on the way to our Hawaii honeymoon when, about 1 hour out of Chicago, we were struck by lightning.
It was incredibly loud. I was sitting next to the window overlooking the wing, and I immediately announced what it was to the other passengers.
But it was so loud, it took some time to convince many of them what it was.
About a minute later, the pilot got on the PA system and talked about "static electricity". Apparently he didn't want to use the "l" word and didn't know we were already using it.

I also walked in a bizarrely intense thunder storm south of Montreal. Several times the lightning struck so close that I felt the missing rain column that was evaporated by the lightning bolt. It fell on my seconds after the strike. Even with my eyes shut, my entire field of vision was bright white.

But that was still not as loud as the one in the plane. So you may be right - those airborne bolts may be louder.


Science Advisor
Gold Member
It might have been positive lightning:
Positive lightning originates in the tops of thunderheads and therefore has a much higher voltage associated with it.

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