KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — If you’ve ever been to the mountains before you know that it’s usually cooler the higher up you go. Temperatures are usually a little cooler above about 6,000 feet up towards Clingmans Dome compared to down towards Cades Cove.

This is what we call a standard atmosphere but sometimes we get what’s called an inversion. Basically, what it means is you have a cold layer at the surface a cold layer aloft but warmer air right through the middle. This traps air and prevents it from rising.

When thunderstorms happen during an inversion in the winter months, it just reverberates and goes back-and-forth underneath this warm layer, so it sounds like the thunder just goes on and on and on. So, the next time we have thunderstorms in the middle of wintertime and it sounds like it’s just a continuous roll of thunder, it’s a pretty good bet that you have what is called an inversion.