To get back to the original question ...

I've read reports of people describing a tornado as "sounding like a freight train rolling 
overhead", which to me denotes high SPLs. I've heard hurricane-force winds myself, and they roar but 
I wouldn't say it's body-vibrating loud (much more freaky is when the house starts to vibrate, I 
assume because the wind is moving in some way that is resonant with the house itself). I've never 
experienced anything approaching a serious earthquake; I mentioned earthquakes because I think they 
create pressure waves in audible or subsonic frequencies, and I wonder if those waves equate to high 
SPLs. I've heard thunder that is louder than fireworks, and in fact lightening struck my father's 
ham radio antenna tower once and the thunder air-rush was loud enough to crack plaster all the way 
down the 3-story house. (also, the lightening itself, even though it successfully travelled to 
ground through the tower's well-designed grounding system, caused an electrical surge that blew out 
many lightbulbs in the house -- suffice to say, it was an exciting evening!). Lightening struck a 
power pole near my house once and there was a very loud boom, but it may have been a combination of 
the thunder air-rush and the explosion of the transformer on the pole.

There is often cloud-to-cloud lightening around here, I assume because the storms tend to blow 
quickly over the hill I live on so there must be a lot of static electricity generated by the clouds 
moving against each other and at different speeds. Anyway, the thunder from those bolts is very loud 
if it's overhead, in fact framed pictures often get shaken out of place.

BTW, tangentially related, I thought this article about people who survived lightening strikes was 

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "DAVID BURNHAM" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Monday, March 16, 2015 5:12 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Loudest Sound? (was "Sound" of the end of WWI)

> Here's the original question:
>> This brings up a question for the house -- what is the loudest naturally
>> occuring sound as far as SPL's -- a massive earthquake, a massive
>> hurricane or tornado, or the thunder after a big nearly
>> lightening-to-ground strike (or perhaps the thunder overhead after a big
>> cloud-to-cloud strike)? As far as human hearing goes, I'd think thunder
>> would sound loudest, but I wonder if earthquake is most SPLs because of
>> the subsonic waves?
>     On Monday, March 16, 2015 2:14 PM, Lou Judson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Not according to the subject line!
> <L>
> On Mar 16, 2015, at 10:13 AM, Dave Burnham <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> I don't think the space shuttle counts because the question was about natural sounds, not man 
>> made.
>> db