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What is Thunderstorm? Causes, Types, And Safety Precautions

Every year lightning and thunderstorm affects millions of people around the world. The lighting and thunderstorm lead to the destruction of property, and death and can injure people. Lightning is an electrical discharge caused by imbalances between storm clouds and the ground, or within the clouds themselves. Most lightning occurs within the clouds. Let’s take a look at the details about Thunderstorms, types, and causes.

What is a Thunderstorm?

A thunderstorm is a short-lived weather disturbance characterized by lightning, heavy rain, thunder, strong winds, etc. It occurs in a type of cloud known as a cumulonimbus. Severe thunderstorms result in the most dangerous and hazardous weather phenomena. Some thunderstorms can also bring tornadoes. They are most likely to occur in the months of Summer and Spring. The basic things that make a thunderstorm are moisture, unstable air, and lift.

Causes of a Thunderstorm

Thunderstorms occur in every region of the world. The cause of a thunderstorm can be due to the rapid upward movement of warm, moist air, to cooler regions of the atmosphere. As the moist air moves upward, it cools, condenses, and results in the formation of a cumulonimbus cloud that can reach heights of over 20 kilometers and also precipitation. The cooled air in the atmosphere strikes the ground with strong winds. Meanwhile, the electrical charges accumulate on cloud particles. When the charges become large, it results in lightning which heats the air and passes intensely producing shock waves heard as rolls of thunder.

Types of Thunderstorm

There are mainly four types of thunderstorms according to the wind conditions at different layers of the atmosphere.

  1. Single-cell- These are small and weak thunderstorms that die within an hour. They can be typically seen in summers and occur due to heating.
  2. Multi-cell clusters- These are the most common type of thunderstorms and may produce hail, strong winds, and heavy rain.
  3. Multicell lines/Squall Line- These thunderstorms are stronger than multicell clusters. They result in “squalls” of high wind and heavy rain.
  4. Supercells- These are the strongest and most severe types of thunderstorms. Most large and violent tornadoes come from this type of thunderstorm. At least 90 percent of supercells can cause severe weather-causing destruction.

Effects of Thunderstorm

A thunderstorm can be harmful if it accompanies by lightning, gusty winds, and heavy rain. This can affect humans, animals, public properties, and even nature.

Safety Precautions

  • Take immediate action upon hearing loud thunder. Anyone close enough to the thunderstorm can be struck by lightning.
  • Avoid electrical appliances and switch them off. It may conduct electricity during thunderstorms and lightning.
  • Close the windows and doors and stay away from them.
  • Do not bathe or shower, during a thunderstorm as plumbing conducts electricity.
  • If you are driving, safely exit the roadway, turn on hazard lights, and park. Try to remain in the vehicle and avoid touching metal.What is Thunderstorm? Causes, Types, And Safety Precautions_50.1

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are the causes of a thunderstorm?

Ans: The cause of a thunderstorm can be due to the rapid upward movement of warm, moist air, to cooler regions of the atmosphere.

Q. What are the types of thunderstorms?

Ans: The 4 Types of Thunderstorms

  1. The single-cell.
  2. The multi-cell.
  3. The squall line.
  4. The supercell.

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