This photograph shows the build-up of cumulus clouds.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of Steve Albers
Types of Thunderstorms
There are two main types of thunderstorms: ordinary and severe. Ordinary
thunderstorms are the common summer storm.
Ordinary thunderstorms last about one hour. Rain and small
Severe thunderstorms are really dangerous. They can
produce large hail, strong winds, intense rain,
flash floods, and tornadoes. Severe
thunderstorms can last several hours.
You might also be interested in:
How did life evolve on Earth? The answer to this question can help us understand our past and prepare for our future. Although evolution provides credible and reliable answers, polls show that many people turn away from science, seeking other explanations with which they are more comfortable....more
Tornadoes form from severe thunderstorms. They are very destructive because they have a high energy density. They also don't last very long. This makes it hard to learn about them. Since scientists don't...more
The sun heats the earth during the day. The heat on the surface warms the air around it. Since warm air is lighter than cool air, it starts to rise. If the air has water in it, then the warm air turns...more
After about 30 minutes, the thunderstorm begins to disappear. The cool downward wind stops the warm air from rising. No more rain is in the cloud. The cloud disappears. The whole process takes about one...more
When the cumulus cloud becomes big, the water in it becomes heavy. It starts to fall out of the cloud. At the same time, cool dry air starts to enter the cloud. Cool air is heavier than warm air. The...more
You see a flash of lightning across the night sky. Five seconds later, your hear the rumble of thunder. If lightning and thunder come from the same source, then why don't they occur at the same time?...more
Thunderstorms can be really dangerous! Flash floods, lightning bolts, hail, tornadoes...all of these things can hurt you if you're not careful. So here's some safety tips. GO INSIDE! If you hear distant...more
The sky is filled with electric charge. In a calm sky, the positive (+) and negative (-) charges are mixed up. Inside a thunderstorm, the + and - charges are separated into two sections. All of the +...more