The skies around the Reno area should clear out for a couple of days as the offshore flow stabilizes, giving us mostly sunny skies with seasonable warm high temperatures in the mid-90s. By the time we get to the weekend, another weak impulse sets up offshore, which could allow some more isolated thunderstorms to build up in the afternoons through the weekend and into the middle of the next. High temperatures will warm to the upper 90s through the weekend.

Lightning bolt

Here’s a follow-up to yesterday’s question about thunder:  “What are the mechanics of thunder? (I suspect it isn’t some old codger who likes to bowl among the clouds.)”

No… no old codgers. Thunder is caused by the rapid expansion of superheated air. An average lightning bolt has a temperature of about 50,000 degrees F. This causes a rapid expansion of the column of air around the bolt, creating a sonic shockwave that goes outward from the bolt, and then sucks back in as the air rapidly cools. Think of a giant woofer on a stereo speaker, and you can get a general idea.

Thunder can usually be heard at least 10 miles away from its lightning source, and if the conditions are just right, it’s possible to hear thunder more than 20 miles away.

 

 

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