While the moisture in the cloud may start to form rain droplets, the updrafts are stronger than the weight of the raindrops and keep the drops suspended in the cloud, where they collide with other drops to become larger and heavier. In the easiest of terms, it is when the atmosphere comes to be excessively warm in its bottommost layers in comparison to the higher layers. It often happens after you see the bolt of lightning because sound travels more slowly than light. When these drops become heavier than the strength of the updraft, the storm has entered the Mature Stage. Lightning is a discharge of electricity. At some point, condensation high in the cloud (now in the form of water Thunderstorms are created in one of three basic ways. The moisture in the air condenses into water droplets as it rises. As the Sun heats the Earth's surface, some areas warm faster than others. Supercell thunderstorms occur when very strong updrafts There are three main types of thunderstorms; orographic, air Thunder is the sound that happens when lightning strikes. The build-up of electric charges allows lightning to form, much in the same way that you can create a spark after shuffling your feet on a carpet. On average, we see 100,000 thunderstorms develop in the U.S. each year, according to the National Severe Storms Laboratory. Meanwhile, cool dry air flows downward in the cloud, called a downdraft, pulling water downward as rain. How Do Thunderstorms Develop? Air mass thunderstorms are the result of localized convection in How does a thunderstorm form? Thus, moisture is needed to form clouds and rain. As the thunderstorm progresses, eventually the rain cools the entire process down and the energy is gone. 12 years ago admin . Earth's surface heats the air just above the surface through the process instability (unstable air) and moisture. 3 min read . When warm, moist air moves upward in an updraft, puffy cumulus clouds may form in the atmosphere. On a hot summer day the surface of the Earth is heated by the sun. The Earth's surface heats the air just above the surface through the process of conduction. The process of rising warm air is called convection, which occurs when the atmosphere above the surface of the planet is unstable due to sudden changes in air pressure and temperature. air is forced to rise, it will continue to rise, because it is less dense Two of the most important ingredients for thunderstorm formation are The cloud will continue to grow as long as warm air from below continues to rise. The moving air within the cloud builds up electric charges as it slides past other air. Thunderstorms also help keep the Earth in electrical balance. Orographic thunderstorms are caused by air that is forced up by Now let us go through what impact does a thunderstorm creates on our life. Water vapor condenses and forms cumulus clouds. And the growing droplets that make up the cloud become heavy. heat (latent heat/energy ) is released and helps the thunderstorm grow. The warmed air rises higher in the atmosphere because warm air has less mass than cool air, making it lighter. When a cumulonimbus cloud reaches a capping inversion or the tropopause, it spreads outward and forms the anvil cloud so characteristic of most thunderstorms. The cloud starts to look dark and grey as more water is added to it. mass, and frontal. You need unstable air that is relatively warm and … Frontal thunderstorms occur along the boundaries of weather fronts There the moisture contained in the updraft condenses to form towering cumulonimbus clouds and, eventually, precipitation. How Do Thunderstorms Form? So how do they form? hours. Since warm moist air can no longer rise, cloud droplets can no longer form. This can allow the storm to persist for many (e.g. 3 min read . While at first this may seem contradictory, consider this: thermal instability (which triggers thunderstorm development) is also the very process by which a cumulus cloud forms. The Because moisture and warmth are crucial to thunderstorms, it makes sense that they would occur more often in the spring and summer, particularly in humid areas such as the southeastern United States. The action of warm air rising and cold air sinking (convection) plays Thunderstorms form when rapidly rising warm air brings moisture to higher parts of the atmosphere, then water vapor cools and condenses into droplets that fall to the Earth as rain. The developing, mature, and dissipating stages of a thunderstorm Credit: NOAA. Thunderstorms and lightning are formed by the consequences of an energy disparity in the atmosphere. A large amount of the thunderstorm's energy comes from the condensation process that forms the thunderstorm clouds. The expansion creates a shock wave that turns into a booming sound wave, known as thunder. The basic ingredients used to make a thunderstorm are moisture, unstable air and lift. Most thunderstorms form with three stages: the cumulus stage when storm clouds form, the mature stage when the storm is fully formed, and then the dissipating stage when the storm weakens and breaks apart. Air is also forced upward at weather fronts, where warm and cool air masses collide.