It sounds like you saw a big fireball.
All the characteristics you listed are consistent with a meteor. This one must have been particularly bright for you to see through rain/fog/clouds,
and you were lucky to see it, as events like this are fairly rare, although they do happen from time to time.
Usually what happens when a relatively large rock (meteoroid) enters the atmosphere, is that when it gets down to a certain altitude, where the air
becomes much denser, the forces involved cause the object to disintegrate. That is what would have caused the bright flash you saw at the end.
This would usually occur at least 40km in altitude, and any surviving rocks would rain down on the ground below, unseen by anyone since they would
have lost the velocity needed for them to remain luminous (small objects have much less momentum than large objects, so air-resistance slows them down
much more rapidly than it does large objects).
The sounds you describe are also consistent with a meteor. Here is some good info on electrophonic meteor sounds
as they are called. There is much we still do not understand about the mechanisms involved, although there are some promising theories.
It would be good if you could submit a report with one of these organizations as it sounds as though there is a very good chance that meteorite
fragments made it down to the ground, and recovering them may be a possibility if others saw this fireball or if it was captured on one of the all-sky
camera networks that were set up to capture events like this:
American Meteor Society Fireball Reporting Form
International Meteor Organization
The site is down at the time of writing, but you should be able to find a link to
their fireball report form quite easily from the home page.
A bright meteor (possibly not quite as bright as yours) was caught on just such an all-sky camera in New Mexico a few days ago, and you can find a
video of the event here
The length of your sighting would suggest that what you saw was a small asteroid, rather than part of a comet since cometary material has a relative
velocity that usually much greater than that of asteroidal objects. Since they are comparatively slow, and also made of denser/less fragile material,
asteroids stand a chance of penetrating quite deep into our atmosphere before they either self destruct or are slowed down to the point at which they
are no longer luminous, after which they fall to the ground, usually reaching it traveling no more than 200-300 km/h.
The initial velocity at the time of atmospheric entry would usually be somewhere in the region of 10-40 km/s, in the case of asteroidal material.
[edit on 10-10-2009 by C.H.U.D.]