Lightning is an electrical discharge that occurs in a thunderstorm. It can be seen in
the form of a bright streak (or bolt) from the sky. Lightning occurs when an electrical
charge is built up within a cloud, due to static electricity generated by supercooled
water droplets colliding with ice crystals near the freezing level. When a large
enough charge is built up, a large discharge will occur and can be seen as lightning.
The temperature of a lightning bolt can be five times hotter than the surface of the
sun. Although the lightning is extremely hot, the duration is short and 90% of strike
victims survive. Contrary to the popular idea that lightning does not strike twice in
the same spot, some people have been struck by lightning over three times, and
skyscrapers like the Empire State Building have been struck numerous times in the
same storm. The loud bang that is heard is the super heated air around the lightning
bolt expanding at the speed of sound. Because sound travels slower than light the
flash is seen before the bang, although both occur at the same moment.
1. What can be inferred from paragraph A?
A: Lightning is caused by an electrical discharge in the clouds.
B: Lightning is not as hot as the temperature of the sun's surface.
C: The sound made by lightning occurs when the electricity strikes an object.
D: The sound of lightning is heard before the lightning can be seen.
2. Being struck by lightning means:
A: Instant death.
B: Less than a fifty percent chance of survival.
C: A ninety percent chance of surviving the strike.
D: An eighty percent chance of survival.
3. Lightning is caused by:
A: Static electricity generated by cool water droplets and ice crystals colliding in the
B: Friction from the clouds rubbing together.
C: Extreme heat in the clouds caused by solar energy.
D: Warm and cold air mixing together.
Warm air has a lower density than cool air, so warm air rises within cooler air,
similar to hot air balloons. Clouds form as warm air carrying moisture rises within
cooler air. As the warm air rises, it cools. The moist water vapor begins to condense.
When the moisture condenses, this releases energy that keeps the air warmer than
its surroundings, so that it continues to rise. If enough instability is present in the
atmosphere, this process will continue long enough for cumulonimbus clouds to
form, which support lightning and thunder. All thunderstorms, regardless of type, go
through three stages: the cumulus stage, the mature stage, and the dissipation