ATLANTA — If you heard a huge clap of thunder this morning in metro Atlanta, you’re not alone.
Severe Weather Team 2 Meteorologist Brian Monahan said that thunder becomes especially loud during the “elevated” thunderstorms that moved over metro Atlanta last night.
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“These are storms where the air that builds into them rises from a couple thousand feet off the ground rather than from the ground,” Monahan said. “While this limits the risk of severe weather, it can make thunderstorms extra-loud when thunder does happen. This occurs because the sound waves get trapped below what is called a “‘low level temperature inversion.’”
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An inversion happens when the temperatures rise with height, rather than fall. The inversion acts like a lid in the low levels of the atmosphere, and the sound of the thunder bounces off of it and objects on the ground.
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“Since it can’t escape upward, it amplifies the sound of the thunder,” Monahan said.
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