Sooo, how does the lightning get there?
Dark thunderclouds form when warm, wet air surges upwards into the sky and cools dramatically.
Inside these clouds, some of the water freezes and strong air currents make this ice and water droplets bump together. This knocks electrons off the atoms in the ice and creates a builds up of static electricity. Positive charge builds up at the top of the cloud and negative charge at the bottom and attempts to escape to the ground, when the charge is released, its a bolt of lightning. When the lightning doesn't come down to earth, it creates sheet lightning.
The lightning can heat the air around it up to 30 000°C - this is five times hotter then the surface of the sun!
This huge amount of heat causes the air to expand faster than the speed of sound. This creates the crash of thunder.
If the thunderstorm is not overhead, you can count the seconds between the time you see the lightning and the time you hear the thunder and divide this by 5 to find out how many miles away it is.
AND REMEMBER KIDS: Lightning always tries to find the fastest route to the ground, so don't stand under trees, sit in cars. If the car is struck, the steel frame conducts the electricity over the surface of the car to the ground.