I know what Thor got for Christmas.
On December 26th at 10:05 P.M. there was a flashing burst of white atomic lightning. Nearly 20 seconds later it was followed by a deafening clap of nuclear holocaust, world ending thunder. And that’s exactly what I thought had happened.
After I dislodged the pieces of my heart from my throat and stomach, I looked outside expecting to see the world had been obliterated, my home the only survivor. When I saw the planet was still spinning gently on its axis, I imagined my beloved, primordial maple tree had grown legs and ripped itself from the earth rather like one of Tolkien’s Ents. However, it was still intact. Perhaps the train trestle had collapsed? But that too was still standing.
Winter lightning and thunder is said to be a rare event. Lightning is born of out intensive atmospheric energy. Cold air is less energetic and holds less moisture, making winter thunder unusual. But it seems to me that I can recall several instances of it over the past decade or so and it seems to be increasing with frequency. I wonder if it’s related to an el Nino weather event or the much debated global warming?
I paid enough attention in school to know that a thunderstorm occurs on the leading edge of either a cold or warm front as the two air masses collide. Thunder is the manifestation of the super heated air (15,000-60,000 degrees Fahrenheit) created by lightning. It causes the air around the lightning to rapidly expand and creates shock waves that rumble through the atmosphere.
I couldn’t even tell you what the weather was like that day or night. The boisterous clap seems to have erased all memory of it away. My research didn’t turn up any super cool nuggets of information on the subject either. Perhaps someone out there has an interpretation of the cause of that pulverizing blow from Thor’s Hammer that they can share with us.
I did come across these brief interesting tidbits which I’ll share with you on the way out of this post.
Old Wives Tales:
- If during the winter you have a thunderstorm, within 10 days you’ll have snow.
- If there’s thunder during Christmas week, the winter will be anything but meek.
Cool New Word:
- Astraphobia: The irrational fear of thunder and lightning. (As in, Wilbur Girl’s cats suffer from extreme astraphobia.)
– Wilbur Girl