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Here in Florida, lightning happens quite often. On occasion, I have noticed that one bolt will discharge and its resultant boom will be very very short, and then a second later another bolt will discharge, but this time the boom will be rolling, lasting several seconds. Both bolts discharged only seconds apart, apparently from the same cloud, the same distance, same atmospheric conditions. Why? Did the first discharge somehow change the conditions through which the second discharge occurred?

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Instead of a short lighten stroke, the stroke traveled through several clouds for several miles, unseen by you. This is how you might get a long rolling thunder. There could also be several unseen strokes which the thunder overlaps to sound as one.

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