Letter | Published:


Naturevolume 115page801 (1925) | Download Citation



EVER since I was a child I have heard of the idea that lightning makes a “swishing” noise when one is quite close to it, but I have looked on this as a popular superstition. I have recently, however, had occasion to wonder whether there may not be some foundation for the idea. On April 24 there was a very severe thunderstorm here, quite a number of flashes having been within a kilometre and a half of this house; a barn was struck one kilometre away, and probably also a cottage 450 metres in another direction. During the storm three men were working in a field; two of them were together close to a holly tree in a hedge; there was a very bright flash of lightning, with a just perceptible interval between the flash and the thunder. At the moment of the lightning there was quite a loud swishing sound in the holly tree, as though, they said, a sudden blast of air went through the tree; the sound occurred definitely before the thunder.

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  1. Stoner Hill, Petersfield, Hants

    • C. J. P. CAVE


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