Description of a thunderstorm

Characteristics[ edit ] Supercells are usually found isolated from other thunderstorms, although they can sometimes be embedded in a squall line. Typically, supercells are found in the warm sector of a low pressure system propagating generally in a north easterly direction in line with the cold front of the low pressure system. Because they can last for hours, they are known as quasi-steady-state storms. Supercells have the capability to deviate from the mean wind.

Description of a thunderstorm

Intracloud Lightning Intracloud Lightning The most common type of discharge - lightning inside a single storm cloud, jumping between different charge regions in the cloud. All or parts of the actual channel may be obscured inside the cloud, and may or may not be visible to an observer on the ground.

Not to be confused with cloud-to-cloud lightning. Anvil Crawler Anvil Crawlers Anvil Crawlers are horizontal, tree-like, in-cloud lightning discharges whos leader propagation is resolvable to the human eye.

Anvil crawlers are often very high-altitude events, and as such typically result in soft, rolling thunder due to their great distance from the observer. Anvil crawlers can either occur independently completely within the cloud, or in connection with a cloud-to-ground discharge.

Cloud-to-Air Lightning Cloud-to-Air Lightning Referring to a discharge or a portion of a discharge jumping from a cloud into clear air. However, the most visually dramatic examples of cloud-to-air lightning occur when a long, bright lightning channel jumps out of the side of a cumulonimbus cloud and terminates in the clear air surrounding the storm.

Bead Lightning Bead Lightning Bead Lightning is a name given to the decaying stage of a lightning channel in which the luminosity of the channel breaks up into segments. This is typically caused by wind blowing the lightning channel sideways during the exposure. The stronger the wind and closer the lightning strike, the more horizontal displacement will exist on the recorded image.

Camera movement during the capture of a lightning photograph can also result in the same effect: Lightning captured with moving camera: View larger image Sheet Lightning Sheet Lightning Sheet Lightning is a term used to describe clouds illuminated by a lightning discharge where the actual lightning channel is either inside the clouds or below the horizon not visible to the observer.

Sheet lightning is, simply speaking, ordinary lightning cloud-to-ground, intracloud, etc that is hidden by clouds or terrain aside from the flash of light it produces.

Sprites Sprites and Jets Electrical discharges that occur high above active thunderstorms. Sprites appear as vertical red columns.

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They are swift and faintly lit, making them nearly invisible to the naked eye and difficult to photograph. These phenomena are best viewed at long distances from large thunderstorm complexes, at least miles away. View larger image Other lightning types Cloud-to-Cloud Lightning: Somewhat rare type of discharge between two or more completely separate storm clouds.

Not to be confused with common intracloud lightning occuring within one storm cloud.

Description of a thunderstorm

Ball Lightning is a rare phenomenon described as a floating, illuminated sphere that occurs during thunderstorms. It may move fast, slow or stay stationary, it may be quiet or produce a hissing or crackling noise, it may pass through windows, last from seconds to minutes, and disappear slowly or suddenly either quietly or with a loud bang.

No definitive photographs have ever been obtained of ball lightning nor has any plausible scientific explanation been found for it to occur. Therefore, its existence remains questionable and is currently given the same scientific credibility as UFOs. Furthermore, many ball lightning reports have been found to be nothing more than power line arcs and other unrelated events.

On a clear night, lightning flashes from a distant storm can be seen hundreds of miles away. Heat lightning got its name because it is often seen on hot summer nights, a time when thunderstorms are common.


A cloud-to-ground lightning flash that consists of only one return stroke. This animation depicts several types of lightning. Can you identify them?Be prepared with the most accurate day forecast for Milwaukee, WI with highs, lows, chance of precipitation from The Weather Channel and NOAA National Weather Service Paducah, KY.

US Dept of Commerce National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Weather Service. Product description. Soak your opponents in an instant with this motorized Thunderstorm water blaster. Fully automatic for maximum speed, this blaster lets you just pull the trigger to begin the drenching action.

The Bureau of Meteorology constantly monitors all of its radars to detect thunderstorms. Severe Thunderstorm Warnings will be issued if the storms are expected to produce any of the following: Damaging wind gusts (90 km/h or more) Large hail (2cm diameter or .

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Description of a thunderstorm

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