Why was the Thunder so Loud Wednesday Night / Thursday Morning?

I bet most people heard something like this at about 4:30 am in Brantford Thursday morning:

I know on twitter I saw a couple people other than myself who were jolted out of bed (in my case twice).

So why the hell did it sound like a bomb went off at 4:30 am?

A great explanation of why it was so loud comes from The Weather Channel, which I will borrow from here:

“What makes thunder louder on some occasions than others? Most of the time it has to do with how the temperature changes with height. The short answer is that thunder tends to be loudest when there is a cold pocket near the surface and warm air above it — an “inversion.”

So, because temperatures tend to cool near the ground at night, thunder tends to be louder at night.”

In the case at 3:30 am and 4:30 am over the Brantford area, there was a layer of warm air over the cold air, which trapped the sound better, as if you were in a hall, or an air duct. Hence the bomb like bouncing effect of the sound.

Elevated thunderstorm with warm air over top

So there you go, Brantfordians. You can now go to sleep, if you aren’t still unnerved.

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