Best Answer

Light travels at 186,000 miles per second in a vacuum. So the light from a flash of lightning travels at the speed of light in air, which is slightly less than the speed of light in a vacuum (e.g. space)

But lightning itself travels nowhere near as fast as the speed of light. Lightning is an electrical discharge and is bound by the laws of physics. Its speed depends on many factors, including the conductivity of the medium it is travelling through. Careful scientific measurements of many lightning flashes have revealed that the electricity moves at different speeds at different stages of its journey in the lightning flash. Also, its returning upstroke is much faster than its downstroke.

Speed of Propagation

The Guinness Book of Answers indicates maximum speeds around 87,000 miles per second. Also, the US Department of Energy gives the speed of lightning as 93,000 miles per second, which may be based on the 'half the speed of light' principle. Neither is considered accurate for atmospheric discharges.

Observed Velocity

Propagation of high-altitude lightning observed from space was measured at a speed of 50 kilometers per second (112,000 mph). This is considerably slower than the 670 kilometers per second (1,500,000 mph) maximum return stroke velocity reported in an IEEE report in 2006. In a paper published in 2007, wide variations in stroke speeds were reported, up to 4000 kilometers per second (9,000,000 mph). While incredibly fast, these show that the average lightning speed is considerably slower than the speed of light.

For more detailed information, see Related links below this box.
lightning is able to strike 100 times per second.

User Avatar

Wiki User

โˆ™ 2014-09-22 22:00:28
This answer is:
User Avatar
More answers
User Avatar

dar urquidi

Lvl 2
โˆ™ 2021-04-08 00:56:51

i think its 9,000 mph

User Avatar

Add your answer:

Earn +20 pts
Q: What is the speed of lightning?
Write your answer...
Related questions

What is the wind speed in a lightning storm?

Lightning is caused by a build up of electrical charge in the atmosphere. Wind speed is not connected to the production of lightning. Lightning can occur at any wind speed.

How to write lightning speed in Japanese?

Lightning speed would be "kaminari no hayasa."

What is faster the speed of lightning or the speed of light?

Light is faster than lightning.

What is the speed of electricity or lightning compared to the speed of sound and light?

The speed of lightning is somewhere between that of light and sound which is why most scientists would agree that the speed of light and the speed of sound make a good comparison to that of lightning and electricity.

Is lightning or sound faster?

Lightning. Because it is the speed of light.

How is lightning measured?

Lightning is measured depending on the speed of wind it has for example if the speed is 130 mph then the measurement of the lightning will be about only 40 or 50 length

What is the adjective form of lightning?

The noun lightning itself (electrical discharge) is used as a noun adjunct, rather than an adjective, in such terms as lightning bolt or lightning rod. Only when the intent is to show great speed or quickness (lightning speed, lightning reflexes) is lightning an adjective.

Is thunder faster than the speed of light?

Thunder (caused by lightning) is a sound. It travels from the lightning to youat the speed of sound.

Why is there a delay between the lightning an thunder?

There is a delay between seeing the lightning and hearing the thunder because the speed of light (lightning) is much faster than the speed of sound (thunder). Thus, you SEE lightning first, and then you HEAR thunder later.

Can computers process data in a speed of lightning?


Why does lightning flicker?

At high speed, lightning travels up and down. In result it has a flickering appearence.

Is a jet as fast as lightning?

A high-speed jet is nowhere near as fast as a lightning bolt.

Why does lightning first?

The speed of light is faster than the speed of sound, therefore you see lightning first during a thunderstorm, then you hear the thunder. *yikes!* :) ilovecatz1234

What are the release dates for Lightning Speed - 1928?

Lightning Speed - 1928 was released on: USA: 26 August 1928 Finland: 3 March 1930

What is the top speed of a Ford Lightning?

the top speed is 142 miles per hour

Does lightning go at the speed of light?

The physical manifestation of lightning does not though obviously the light it gives off does.

Is lightning faster than the speed of sound?


What is the wind speed of thunder storms?

it might be 100 speed but it depends on what type of lighting it is is it crazy lightning are is is normal lightning and its really cool to see the beautiful colours

Which of these two is faster is it lightning or thunder?

The lightning. The speed of light is faster than the speed of sound. In addition, lightning creates thunder, therefore it happens first, therefore must be faster. See the related link for more information.

Why is it that lightning travels faster than sound?

Light speed is much faster than the speed of sound, ergo the light you see in lightning is visible, before you here the sound.

Why you can see lightning then you can hear thunder?

The speed of light is faster than the speed of sound. So when lightning occurs, you can see it sooner than you then hear it. The further away you are from the lightning, the longer it takes for you to hear it. If lightning occurs right near you, you see the flash and hear the thunder at the same time.

How fast is the animal Jaguar?

fast like a speed of a lightning

Why does thunder come after lightning?

The light from the lightning travels at the speed of light, whereas the sound (thunder) travels much slower.

Why is jay so fast in Ninjago?

jay is the ninja of lightning. in the card & spinner game lightning shows how much speed you have.

Why do you see a lightning flash before you hear it?

Because the speed of light is faster than the speed of sound.

People also asked

How you type omega symbol in Microsoft Word?

View results