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HEAT LIGHTNING IS SEEN, BUT ITS THUNDER ISN'T HEARD

Heat lightning is a nontechnical term usually applied to light observed from ordinary lightning too far away for its thunder to be heard, according to the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Earth Sciences. It is often seen near the horizon, especially at the close of day, and the distant flashes may be especially noticeable when they are reflected off high clouds.

While the display is not actually caused by heat, the Encyclopaedia Britannica suggests, diffuse flashes of "heat lightning" are most likely to be seen when it is hot because "warm summer evenings favor both the occurrence of thunderstorms and the presence of observers outdoors."- C. Claiborne Ray