The sound of thunder is the result of the increase in pressure and temperature in the air caused by lightning. The expansion of air creates a sonic wave which makes the sound we associate with thunder.
Thunder is the sound that lightning makes. When lightning strikes the ground it heats the air and creates vibrations, thunder is the sound of those vibrations of the air. You always see the lighting before you hear the thunder, because the speed of light is much faster than the speed of sound.
Thunder is the sound made by lightning. When lightning strikes, the extremely high temperature forces the surrounding air to expand rapidly, so rapidly in fact that the expansion causes a sonic shock wave (sonic boom) as the expanding air is essentially moving (expanding) faster than the speed of sound. That sonic shock wave is the sound of thunder.
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