Thunderstorms are one of nature’s most awe-inspiring natural phenomena. They form quickly and can reach heights of up to 10 feet in just a few minutes. When these storms occur, the skies open up, and heavy rain, hail, and snow fall at an alarming pace. These storms produce powerful jet streams that push warm air upward and move cool, humid air toward the Equator. These phenomena are known as “thermal anomalies” or “rainfalls.” This video explains what thunderstorms are, how they take off, where they go, and more!
Can planes take off in thunderstorms?
No, planes cannot take off in thunderstorms. This is because thunderstorms can cause terrible weather conditions for aviation.
What Is A Thunderstorm?
When a thunderstorm forms, these droplets can create a variety of weather conditions. Since they are made of water and ice they will not support life and should not be handled with hazardous materials. In other words, if you see them as snow or hail then don’t touch them!
The drops in a thunderstorm are often so small that you would never be able to see them with your eyes alone. These drops become larger because the temperature difference between where they condense against the earth and their surroundings is greater than what is found in cold areas like lakes or oceans. The temperature at which this happens is known as saturation temperature; if it reaches this temperature then no more water will be able to condensate on that drop surface leading to freezing (solidification) instead of precipitation (rain or snow). This process occurs on all drops falling from any wind direction within a thunderstorm when temperatures permit it. With lightning bolts striking close by this process can occur up to 6 times per second! As another example, the temperature at which these drops will fall as frost, not precipitation, is known as sublimation. As these drops accrue on the surface of a cloud, they become larger and larger during the day until they reach their saturation point. This exposes a small portion of the drop to light. The condensation process then occurs around this exposed portion and precipitates as rain or snow again, but only over a much smaller area than before. Thunderstorms can produce heavy rain (a few inches occur each hour), but usually more in terms of daily totals rather than yearly totals.
Thunderstorms are rare because there are fewer of them than there are other types of weather patterns, such as dust storms or hurricanes. One thunderstorm is produced every 6-20 minutes somewhere on Earth when conditions permit it to form. However, it is not very common for people to see a single thunderstorm today because we have become so used to seeing them everywhere we go (eclipses can be seen by almost anyone). Cloud cover has also made viewing outside of our cities too difficult for most people.
How Do Thunderstorms Take Off?
- The beginning of a thunderstorm involves the development of cumulus clouds, which are large and puffy clouds that can grow over 1000 feet tall. Convection currents in the atmosphere produce rising air within these giant clouds. They can also act as a catalyst for other processes that cause thunderstorm development, including condensation and precipitation.
- Once fully formed, the cumulus clouds float high above it before lowering into the middle level of the storm. This occurs because warm air rises faster than cool air (or cooled air is slower to rise) because it is less dense than warm air; this means that hot air sinks and cools off more quickly because it has less mass overall. It is important to note that the reason why some objects have a “surface” at all during a thunderstorm—usually only when it’s very hot or very cool—is because there are areas where the temperature gradient between two layers of air (the “surface” and “effective lower boundary”) is so great as to create adiabatic compression/adiabatic expansion. This means that zones of low pressure develop where very humid conditions exist, which results in some sort of precipitation throughout these zones during a thunderstorm; otherwise, you wouldn’t see any evidence of wetness at all if you could view this phenomenon from space!
- As they descend into their middle height (about 20,000 feet or 6 kilometers), cold downdrafts wind down from freezing levels high above the storm. At this time, the air at the surface warms up as it is replaced by descending air. The rising cool air above the storm creates updrafts that pull warm descending air from below, which also makes it rise and charge the lower levels of the atmosphere with energy.
- By now, convection currents coming from different parts of the storm have combined in one location and have begun to spin off thunderheads (balloon-like clouds that are rich in condensation). They then begin to become spherical and act more like a cylinder around an inner core of circulating air; this is where a thunderstorm takes off! A thunderstorm consists of two things: wind at ground level along with a “heat engine” (or cyclone) at different heights—the updrafts—within it.
Where Do Thunderstorms Go?
● Thunderstorms and whirlwinds are actually all the same thing; they’re just different words used by meteorologists. A thunderstorm is like a tornado in that it blows up suddenly, but with a rotating column of air rather than a tornado’s convective current. A whirlwind (as opposed to just a “whirlwind”) is always caused by spinning winds from high-pressure systems that can’t spread any further and therefore break into smaller, unspinning whirlwinds and then descend to the ground or lower levels of the atmosphere.
● As thunderstorms reach their upper-level maximum height, sometimes within minutes or hours, they begin to weaken and move into unstable weather conditions (notably frontal boundaries where fronts meet in the earth’s atmosphere), which is why they often bring down severe storms later on when they reach these areas. For example, if we look at the chaos going on over western Europe at the moment, then you’ll see that the forecast model shows us intense rainbows (or bows) stretching from parts of France all the way across to central Europe…and they aren’t even near supercell storms!
● Contrary to popular belief, thunderstorms aren’t actually underground. They’re actually just giant regions of slowly-rising air. The difference between a thunderstorm and a tornado is basically just what altitude they are able to maintain.
● Thunderstorms form on warm days when there’s enough moisture in the air for condensation—either liquid water or ice crystals—to form on the earth’s surface (since water is cool at the tropopause, layers of cool air exist above it). If this rising air is insulated by relatively warm layers of the lower atmosphere and if there’s also an unstable weather environment (notably precipitation), then a thunderstorm can form!
The Difference Between A Rainfall And A Thunderstorm
- Thunderstorms aren’t actually “thunder”, but rather lightning. The difference between a rainstorm and a thunderstorm is basically just what altitude they are able to maintain.
- When lightning strikes an object, it sends out an electric pulse (a bolt of energy) into the air and this causes electrons to jump back and forth or jump between atoms or molecules in order to equalize the electric charge between them. This is how current-carrying electronic devices work! In fact, that’s how all electronic devices work, from remote control cars to your laptop computer!
- A downburst is a short-lived event when warm air from below—rather than simply rising up—breaks up as it tries to go up into cooler air above—this releases electricity as a static discharge and can also cause damage as the water gets sucked through broken windows!
- Wind currents during thunderstorms can be so strong that they suck objects into the storm, such as trees or even houses…so don’t freak out if you hear people complaining about cold weather after seeing storms approaching their homes!
The Biggest Differentiator In A Storm: Understanding Thermodynamics
- One of the most misunderstood concepts in the world today is thermodynamics—and that’s not just because of its difficulty (it’s actually pretty tough!). The reason for this misunderstanding is that there are two very different explanations for thermodynamics, and they’re both equally valid.
- In its simplest form, thermodynamics states that matter consists of three distinct forms: energy, mass, and temperature. Most importantly, the total amount of energy a system possesses at any given moment depends on its temperature!
- Despite what you might have been told at school or in Textbooks or by your Grandfather…the universe is not only expanding—there is no energy (or mass) in a physical object which expands to fill space! Any “mass” which would be required to expand like that doesn’t exist as a physical object! So what you’re really observing when you see an expanding universe is that it’s simply taking longer to get from point A to point B than it used to: the speed of light hasn’t changed since the Big Bang!
- Temperature isn’t a constant (as we’ve been taught), but rather increases whenever heat flows from something hotter into something cooler by some means (such as forced airflow or convection). It also decreases whenever heat flows from something cooler into something hotter by some means (such as radiation).
Summing It Up
A thunderstorm is a large, intense storm with heavy precipitation, often accompanied by lightning and thunder. When these storms occur, the skies open up, and heavy rain, hail, and snow fall at an alarming pace. These storms produce powerful jet streams that push warm air upward and move cool, humid air toward the Equator. This video explains what thunderstorms are, how they take off, where they go, and more!