Thunderstorms , Lightning and Thunder- How To

Thunderstorms:  Thunderstorm is an intense, local convectional storm associated with a tall, dense cumulonimbus cloud which yields heavy precipitation, along with lightning and thunder, and sometimes hail. There are very strong updrafts of air in a thunderstorm.

According to meteorologists, a thunderstorm begins when thunder is heard or overhead lightning or hail observed. Severe thunderstorms may result into three quarter-inch hai and / or wind gusts of 50 knots. The strom is considered ended 15 minutes after the last thunderclap is heard. Thunderstorm in dry climates, often occur without measurable precipitaion.

Thunderstorms develop from an initial uplift of moist, unstable air and the release of sufficient latent heat to cause continued uplift. Thus, the keys to storm formation are source of moist air and a mechanism to produce the required uplift. given moisture and convective heat source, the greatest number of thunderstorms occur in moist, tropical realms, especially in Africa. The second requirement, which is a mechanism to initiate cumulonimbus cloud development.

When a number of individual thunderstorms grow in size and organize into a large convective system, it is termed a meso-scale convective complex. They are often large enough to cover a large area and can persist for more than 12 hours.

In India thunderstorm may occur in any season but their frequency is more during the winter season and the season of general rains. At the event of thunderstorm the standing crops, orchards, floricultureand vegetable cultivation are seriously damaged.

Lightning and Thunder: An estimated 8 milllion lightning strikes each day Earth. Lightning refers to flashes of light caused by enormous electrical discharges - tens to hundreds of millions of volts - which briefly superheat the air temperatures of 15,000 to 30,000 degreeC.

Thunderstorms , Lightning and Thunder- How To

The violent expansion of this abruptly heated air sends shock waves through the atmosphere- the sonic bangs known as thunder. The greater the distance a lightning stroke travels, the longer the thunder echoes. Lightning at great distance from the observer may not be accompanied by thunder and is called heat lightning.

Lightning poses a hazard to aircraft and to people, animals, trees and structures. Individuals should acknowledge that certain precautions are mandatory when the threat of lightning discharge is near. When such lightning is imminent, the Meteorological Departments issue severe storm warnings and caution people to remain indoors.

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