Thunder Megaphone – A Glacial Valley Can Focus and Amplify Thunder Into a Most Extraordinary Sound

We’ve all heard thunder, and we all know what causes it. Many of us have heard two distinct kinds of thunder, but perhaps we never really noticed or thought about it. Recently, I heard a third kind of thunder.

“Ordinary” thunder – a thoroughly extraordinary sound, but the kind of thunder we hear most often – happens when lightning occurs at some distance from the observer. The initial sound of the lightning bolt echoes off surrounding objects and air masses. Because it is echoed so many times, the thunder stretches out into many, many seconds, even though the initial sound might have lasted a second or two at most. Moreover, because the initial sound echoes off soft things with indistinct surfaces – clouds, thermoclines, and weather fronts – and because many echoes reach the ears of the observer at different times, the original sound is greatly distorted. Almost all high frequency components are filtered out, and the observer hears mostly a low-pitched rumble.

When lightning strikes very close to the observer, within a few hundred feet, the sound is entirely different. The observer might not hear echoes of the thunder at all, but only the pure initial sound. It is a single, sharp, intense “POW!” It may be followed by a much quieter, but still loud, whistling or hissing sound.

But what about that third kind of lightning?

I was camping alone in Crawford Notch State Park in northern New Hampshire, when thunderstorms began rolling into the valley just after dinner. I tidied up my campsite just before the rain started, then retreated to my tent. One thunderstorm passed without much incident.

Darkness had fallen by the time the second thunderstorm rolled up from the south. I occupied myself by counting the time interval between lightning and thunder to track the movements of the storms. Fifteen seconds before the thunder rolled up from somewhere west of Mount Bemis, and I knew the storm was just under three miles southwest of me. Seven seconds between the flash and the rumble beyond Frankenstein Cliff, and I knew the storm was passing nearly a mile and a half to my west.

And then it happened!

A flash. I counted eleven seconds. And I heard a sound unlike any thunder I had ever heard before.

The cacophony included at least half a dozen rapid repetitions of the “POW!” of a nearby lightning strike. But at the same time, there was the rumbling and roaring of “ordinary” thunder, but much, much louder than usual.

Before I could figure out what that sound was, there was another flash somewhere to the north. Again I counted eleven seconds, and again I heard that utterly incredible crackling and powing and rumbling and roaring.

This time, I figured it out.

It was a lightning strike right within the upper reaches of Crawford Notch just a couple of miles north of me. It was right within a gigantic stone megaphone formed by Webster Cliff on the east, Mount Field and Mount Willey on the west, and the old glacial cirque of Mount Willard for a backstop on the north.

And this 1,500 foot deep, three-mile-long granite megaphone was pointed right at Dry River Campground.

Yes, the beautiful U-shaped glacial valley of Crawford Notch is a nearly perfect megaphone, albeit open on top. The bare stone faces of Mount Willard and Webster Cliff echoed the initial “POW!” of the thunder almost undistorted. The western slope of the notch is a bit more heavily wooded, but there’s enough bare ledge and rockslide there to provide a pretty good echo. The open top of the notch was covered by the underbelly of the thunderstorm itself, which provided enough of a soft echoic surface to create the usual rumbling of thunder in addition to the clean “POW!” echoes off the rock faces.

But all of this sound was extraordinarily loud because of the megaphone that focused it all right on me and my campsite.

After I got this all figured out, there was a third lightning flash in the north. Yes, eleven second later, there was that glorious, unearthly sound again.

I wondered why I had never heard this kind of thunder before. I have probably experienced thunderstorms in Crawford Notch at least a dozen times over the years, but never heard the Thunder Megaphone.

My best guess is that I probably have heard it before, but never noticed it. Most of the times I’ve camped there, it was with a crowd of friends and family. Much goes on when a thunderstorm rolls in. Ponchos have to be broken out and put on, while at the same time, various disorderly what-nots need to get stashed into cars and tents before they get soaked. There is a bit of yelling and shouting to be done, and paradoxically among the mayhem, kids and dogs need to have their fears calmed. Meanwhile, tarps over the tents and picnic tables are flapping in the gales, making a poor imitation of thunder themselves.

In all my 25 years camping in Crawford Notch, this may have been the first time I experienced a thunderstorm while I was camping there alone. There was no tarp over the tent, and I had anticipated the thunderstorm well enough to get everything into the car long before the rain started.

So, when the lightning and thunder came, I had nothing to do but observe.

What a treat!

I half hope we get a thunderstorm the next time we go camping in the mouth of the Thunder Megaphone.

Summer Vacation – Preparing For Your Summer Vacation

We all know that planning and preparation for anything goes a long way to minimizing problems later. There is no better example of this than taking a summer vacation. Are you thinking about this year’s summer vacation? If you are, have you already started planning and preparing for your vacation or trip? Why not?

There is actually no excuse as there are a large number of planning and preparation tips available for summer travelers online, in seasonal magazines, even from some travel agents. Having said that, some advice may put us off because it pertains a specific location or country. When planning and preparing for your summer vacation, however, we are encouraged to keep our destination in mind.

No matter what your vacation destination is, you will need to take the time of year and the climate conditions at that time into consideration. If you are visiting a tropical location, you will need to bring along the appropriate clothing. Bathing suits, shorts, t-shirts, and tank tops are common appeal found at beaches and aboard cruise ships. While you may be expecting warm and sunny weather, it is still advised that you prepare for the worst. Raincoats and an umbrella may be a great addition to your summer clothing.

Need a very good example of this? What if due to a miscalculation or a mistake in planning, you ended up at your tropical destination during their “rainy” season!!!

No matter where you are traveling to, overseas or even in your own country, I would encourage you to always have the proper forms of identification. For example, living here in Spain, we are obliged by law to always carry proof of identification which may be an id card or passport. Although this is not the case in all countries, it really isn’t worth neglecting this.

Part of our planning and preparation for our summer vacation is considering all possible eventualities. So, I would strongly encourage everyone to have the following documentary proof with them while traveling…

  • Passport
  • Driving Licence
  • Health Insurance
  • Car Insurance
  • Car Rental Agreement which may include the car insurance

For many the most popular summer vacation destinations, especially in southern Europe, are the coastal regions and the beaches. Each year millions of individuals and families flock to beaches. If you are spending your summer vacation at the beach, or you know that a great deal of time will be spent there, it is important that you bring along the appropriate clothing and sunscreen.

Believe me, I know from observing painful experiences that many of us still do not realize the dangers of sunbathing or just being out in the sun without sunscreen. The worst is when I have seen young children having a great time in the pool during the hot summer months here in southern Spain. I have then seen them the following day with painful looking blisters and sores because they had not used sunscreen or enough of it.

Always have sunscreen and plenty of it. In addition to sunscreen, you will need to make sure that you have beach towels and plenty of water or liquids on hand.

Cruises are becoming more popular as a summer vacation choice for many individuals and families who are looking for something different. If you are taking a cruise, you are advised to start preparing for your trip as soon as you book your reservation. Unlike many other vacations, a cruise often requires a larger amount of planning and preparation.

When preparing for your cruise, it is important to keep in mind where your ship will be going and what stops are planned as part of the itinerary. When on international waters or traveling to a foreign country, a passport is required.

Please don’t make the mistake of leaving this too late if you do not have a passport. Each country has its own process for receiving and approving applications. Make sure you know what to do in yours.

I have not only seen the disappointment of people who have had to cancel their vacation and lose money, I have also seen all kinds of problems arise mid vacation when passports expire. Don’t take the risk.

We all have our favorite things we take on vacation. This can range from tooth paste and soap to washing detergents. People take all sorts of things with them – just in case.

For the most part, if you forget to bring along certain supplies you can always find and purchase replacements. The only downside to purchasing what you need at your vacation destination may be the price. Popular vacation destinations may have inflated prices. Others will surprise you at how inexpensive your favorite brand is.

With the recent increase in airport security and new travel restrictions, we may all need to accept that we will need to wait until we get to our destination before buying certain products. Part of our planning and preparation is to check what we can and cannot take in our luggage.

There’s a final point I wish to make about summer vacation or any vacation preparation. We all need to make sure that we can make contact and be contacted by others.

Make sure you have the details of all the important contacts you may need at a given time. This may be family or friends. It may be your country’s consulate or your car rental company. The point is, just think how much easier it will be if you have the details at hand.

Equally, develop an itinerary and give copies of your travel plans to those that need to know so that they can contact you should the need arise.

I cannot over emphasize how important the preparation for your summer vacation is. To some, preparing for their vacation may seem a daunting task. To others, it may seem unnecessary or even boring.

How ever you may regard preparing for travel or vacations, please ensure you follow the tips suggested as well as any others you can think of.

Are you bored with the same summer vacation routine? Struggling to find that vacation of a lifetime? Then open your mind to the unique possibilities by visiting qdmarbella.com below. You will be delighted by the choice and the great comments made by clients from North America and other countries.

How to Get Affordable Car Insurance in Ohio

People who live in the state of Ohio may be in for a surprise when they open their mailbox. In this state the Bureau of Motor Vehicles sends out 280,000 requests a year to see proof of insurance. Once someone receives one of these notices in the mail they only have three weeks to prove they have insurance. Although it’s obviously mandatory to have car insurance, some people forego it because of the price. There are ways to find affordable car insurance and some are not things most people are aware of including:

o Using one insurance company for all your policies including car, home, health and life. Insurance companies give discounts to individuals who purchase more than one type of insurance from them. Ask your health insurance or life insurance agent about a quote for car insurance.

o Buying a car that costs less to insure. Most people never consider the insurance costs that are associated with a particular type of car before they buy it. Call several insurance agents and ask for quotes on a car you are considering buying. You may be surprised to learn exactly how expensive it is, and if you find this out before you finalize the sale, you can save yourself a lot of money.

o Mention that you have a car alarm or consider getting one. A car alarm is a great idea for many reasons including the reduction you are likely to experience in insurance costs. Any effort that you make to keep your car safer is viewed in a good light by the insurance company. You’ll have to be prepared to show proof that the car alarm system is indeed installed.

The most important factor in determining your car insurance rates is likely your driving record. If you have been in more than one accident in the last few years or you have a pile of speeding tickets with your name on them, you are obviously going to have a more difficult time getting an affordable rate. If this is the case, make a resolution to start driving safely now and you’ll see your rates steadily drop.

Learn All About Italian Cooking In Italy

Do you wish to visit Italy? Do you live near or in Italy as a permanent resident? Are you a resident of place near to Italy? Do you dream of enhancing your cooking skills or learn how to cook?

Have you ever heard of Italian cooking classes? These Italian cooking classes would help you cook delicious and world famous Italian recipes with ease. If you are a tourist and is planning a trip to Italy then you should consider including Italian cooking classes in your trip. This would not only be an enhancing activity that is wonderful but would be beneficial for you all your life. What could be better than learning Italian cooking classes in Italy. There are people in Italy who are proficient in prepairing Italian food and can hence provide you with greatest techniques and tips.

If you live in or near Italy then you should not miss this wonderful opportunity. This could be your new hobby or interest that would benefit you all your life. If you dreamed to become gourmet Italian chef in any phase of your life then Italian cooking classes are the best solution for all your needs and requirements. You would get what you are searching for in Italian cooking classes!

If you are searching for information on Italian cooking classes then you can use internet for the same. Various websites or blogs are there on the internet to assist you in this task. You get various types of information that includes list reviews, student satisfaction and cost comparisons. Some also undertakes the responsibility to inform you of class curriculums. You can also view the information about the professors and their accomplishments or experience. In any of the case, you would be endeavored with informative activities or about the open house learning.

It is worth exploring your desires, interests and dreams. You cannot ascertain the benefits of attending Italian cooking classes in Italy. Some join these cooking classes to impress their friends or family by their extraordinary dishes while others take it as a passion of their life. There are people who just want to join a new activity to spend some time with their loved one or a friend and some take is seriously as their career. Whatever are your needs or requirements from Italian cooking classes you would definitely be able to accomplish that.

There are people who do not believe in online classes and wish to attend a class physically. For such people it would be an opportunity to meet wonderful people who also share the common interest for Italian cooking. This could be one of the best way to make friends of common interest. You can share your experiences and learn a lot from your colleagues or friends. If you are a novice just like them then you can easily struggle with recipes and adjust to the environment easily.