Enter the total number of seconds between a flash of lightning and when you hear the thunder. The calculator will determine the distance away the lightning strike occurred.

Lightning Distance Formula

The following equation can be used to calculate how far away a storm is.

D = T * SS
  • Where D is the distance
  • T is the time in seconds from seeing a flash to hearing the sound.
  • SS is the speed of sound

To calculate the lightning distance, multiply the time from hearing the thunder from the flash, by the speed of sound.

Lightning Distance Definition

Lighting distance is the total distance from a source that lightning strikes based on the delay between the flash and sound that arrives at the location. Lightning Distance Example

How to calculate lightning distance?

  1. First, determine the time between light and sound.

    Measure the number of seconds between the flash and thunder.

  2. Next, calculate the lightning distance.

    Calculate the lightning distance using the formula above.


How far away is a storm?

The distance a storm is away from you can be calculated by counting the number of seconds it takes to hear thunder associated with lightning. The reason this is possible is that light will reach you almost instantly, but the sound will take longer. Using the difference you can calculate how far away the storm is.

What is the speed of sound?

Sounds travel at about 343 m/s in air, which is equal to around .212 miles per second.

lightning distance calculator
lightning distance formula