Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I noticed this one day, a lightning/thunder occurred and my Fabulosa Spanish music died for a second. But not FM?

share|cite|improve this question
Did you have FM and AM radios playing simultaneously to make that observation? – Michael Luciuk Jul 15 '11 at 21:35
LOL I knew someone would ask that! Well, not really. I just switched to FM after that happened, then life was easycheesy :) – Adel Jul 15 '11 at 21:37
up vote 8 down vote accepted

AM radio typically transmits at around 1 MHz, FM radio at about 90 MHz. Measurements of the RF spectrum of lightning strikes show a falloff with frequency of about 20 dB per decade in that frequency range, so with FM about 2 decades above AM, you'd expect AM to have about 40dB higher interference from a lightning strike. In addition to that, FM signals attenuate faster with range, so depending on your distance from the lightning strike the effective AM/FM interference ratio could be even larger.

share|cite|improve this answer
That's really cool, very informative and thorough answer! Thank You, – Adel Jul 15 '11 at 22:47

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.