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The temperature of the atmosphere affects the thunder sound you hear as well as how far away you can hear it. Sound waves move faster in warm air than they do in cool air. Typically, the air temperature decreases with height. When this occurs, thunder will normally have an audible range up to 10 miles (16 km).
However, when the air temperature increases with height, called an inversion, sound waves are refracted (bent back toward the earth) as they move due to their faster motion in the warmer air. Normally, only the direct sound of thunder is heard. But refraction can add some additional sound, effectively amplifying the thunder and making it sound louder. Learn more about lightning, go to JetStream - an Online School for Weather.