• Thunderstorms are known for their heavy rains and lightning.
  • Worldwide, there are about 14 million of them each year.
  • In the U.S., they are most common—and strongest—in the Midwest.
  • Thunderstorms form when the ground is really hot.
  • The difference in charge creates lightning.
  • Lightning can jump between oppositely charged parts of the same cloud, between one cloud and another, or between a cloud and the ground.
  • The air heats and expands so quickly that it explodes.
  • This creates the loud sound of thunder.
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