Why does thunder, that is heard about five or ten seconds after the lightning is seen, start as relatively quiet high pitched 'crackling' thunder which is, about five or ten seconds later than that, followed/replaced/drowned out by much louder lower pitched 'booming' thunder?
I am under the impression that loud low frequency sound travels much faster than quiet mid range frequency sounds (by a factor of approximately two in the case of the sound/blast of a large nuclear explosion, meaning that the blast wave of a large nuclear explosion travels at twice the 'speed of sound' i.e about 600 meters per second). So I would have expected the loud low frequency sound from the lightning to reach me earlier and not later. But the low frequency sound does seem to reach me later.
Edit: Another thing I find strange is that in many cases the later sounds (the loud booms of thunder) are remarkably distinct (or brief, being at most about 0.1 seconds in duration each, say), like a series of large bombs going off, as if coming from points or small volumes, rather than a continuous roar/rumble that gets louder and quieter at random. The latter might be what is expected if the loud later sound is coming from a randomly oriented line (with or without branches) with a length of five hundred meters to twenty kilometers.