I was going through some old archives, and found some questions that had been sent in from kids at Pleasant Valley Elementary School. Some of these kids might now have kids of their own, but the questions were (and are still) good enough that they are worth repeating, unedited.
DEAR MIKE: How dose litning make thunder? -THUNDER DUDE
DEAR DUDE: You already know a lot about the subject, because you know that thunder is the result of lightning. My mother used to tell me that thunder was God bowling, which explains why lightning strikes. But the real reason has to do with how hot lightning is. If you could hold a thermometer and get a lightning bolt to hit it, what would you get? A melted thermometer and curly hair… because a lightning bolt has a temperature of about 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you heat up air to 50,000 degrees, it will cause it to expand very rapidly. The pressure wave created acts just like a giant woofer on your stereo speaker, creating a low, rumbling sound that can be heard as much as 15 miles away. (More to come.)