Thunderstorms are very powerful storms that provide no mercy in their paths. Also known as a lightning storm, thunderstorms are one of the most powerful storms to hit and it forms when the weather is turbulent. Turbulent is when the wind picks up greatly and rain is present (though it doesn’t always need to be present). Certain types of clouds in the sky (cumulonimbus) result in thunderstorms.
When condensation occurs, heat is released and makes the thunderstorm grow. Thunderstorms will bring on heavy rain fall and strong winds. These are the most common types of weather associated with thunderstorms but there are other types of weather that can accompany a thunderstorm. Things such as hail, sleet and snow are all common factors to present itself during a thunderstorm. Some thunderstorms can rotate if they exceed such conditions.
They can then create supercells which are some of the worst thunderstorms. A thunderstorm can be created because of a sharp surge of moist and warm air. As the warm and moist air moves upwards into the air, it will cool down and condense. When the air condenses, it will form new cumulonimbus clouds. These clouds can exceed heights of 20 kilometers. Once the air reaches a certain dew point, ice and water droplets form and start falling. Once the droplets fall, they become larger because they combine with other droplets. As the droplets fall, they will create a new downdraft of the air which will spread out widely across the surface.
This creates winds that are associated with thunderstorms. Many hazardous weather events are associated with thunderstorms. Rainfall from thunderstorms can cause flash flooding, killing more people each year than hurricanes, tornadoes or lightning.
Lightning causes many fires around the world each year, causing many fatalities. Hail up to the size of softballs damages cars and window. Strong (exceeding 120 mph) winds associated with thunderstorms can knock down trees, power lines, and mobile homes. Tornadoes (with winds exceeding 300 mph) can destroy many structures as well. When a human gets exposed to a lightning strike, the electrical current passes over the surface of the body. This can result in burns specifically to the head, shoulders and neck. Injury can also occur from the lightning’s bolt, potentially throwing them through the air. Immediate death from a lightning strike can happen.
Nine thousand seven people have been killed from lightning strikes between 1940 and 2003, according to Michael Largo, author of “Final Exits: The Illustrated History of How We Die.”There are a few ways we can prepare for thunderstorms. We can keep a look out for hail, rain, strong winds, snow, and sleet. If any of the following occurs, take appropriate cover as soon as possible. Another basic preparation step is to create an emergency kit (filled with basic necessities such as food, water, blankets, first aid, etc.
) as well as a family communication plan. A more complex step (if it applies to you) is to remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm (as well as helps reduce the risk from lightning strikes near your household). With preparation comes recovery. Look at the extent of the damage and determine whether it will cause additional long-term issues; immediately fix anything that will. If someone is injured from any aspect of the storm, seek immediate medical attention.
With correct safety precautions and preparation steps taken, there should not be much of a recovery process needed. Overall, thunderstorms can cause distress to many. Thunderstorms can be very scary, but not damaging (in some cases).
Even in severe cases, with the right safety precautions taken, you can safely survive in a thunderstorm.