Difference between thunderstorm and lightning.

Thunderstorms and lightning are quite common in nature. Sometimes they are dangerous and destructive. But the question of how a thunderstorm differs from lightning can even take you by surprise. Let's try to put everything in its place.

General information

A thunderstorm is a combination of several factors related to weather and natural phenomena. Thunderstorms occur with unequal regularity in different parts of the planet. So, over the continents, they rage much more often than over the oceans. The most favorite scene of thunderstorms is Central Africa, and they practically do not visit the Arctic and Antarctica. Thunderstorms are massive and unsafe. They are second only to floods in terms of the number of casualties.


Lightning is a short-term flash observed between the sky and the earth or high in the clouds. Accompanied by thunder. Lightning occurs not only on Earth. They were also recorded on Jupiter, Venus and other planets.



So, a thunderstorm is a whole set of natural manifestations. Its components are strong wind, dark overhanging clouds, rainstorm or hail and, of course, continuously flashing lightning, accompanied by powerful crackling and thunderous sounds. Therefore, the difference between a thunderstorm and lightning lies in the fact that one of these phenomena appears as part of another, more large-scale one.

However, lightning can be observed not only during thunderstorms. Sometimes it exists quite independently. Where do these spectacular flares in the form of bright broken lines appear in the atmosphere at all? Scientists have long since figured out that the nature of lightning is electrical. The phenomenon is the strongest discharge that occurs under the influence of high voltage.

This stress can reach its critical point not only in the field of a thundercloud, but also during volcanic eruptions, as well as during dust storms and tornadoes. The spark we see in the sky gives off a tremendous amount of thermal energy. This leads to rapid heating and expansion of the air and the appearance of a shock wave. It is this that we perceive as thunder.

What is the difference between a thunderstorm and lightning in terms of the dangers they bring? It is worth noting here that lightning is terrible directly by the power of its discharge. It can be the cause of the ignition of important objects. And most importantly, lightning threatens human life. The thunderstorm, in turn, is even more dangerous. After all, not only lightning can become its weapon, but also the wind, which breaks the wires, and hail, which destroys numerous landings.