A thunderstorm can be a frightening yet awesome occurrence, which can make some people tremble and others gasp in wonder. These thunderstorms are made up of several of nature’s ingredients, which are:
These thunderstorms tend to occur more during the spring and summer months, as these are the seasons in which these three elements are most able to combine in the manner required to facilitate a thunderstorm. These storms can bring with them a variety of dangers, including strong winds, hails, heavy rain and lightning. Not all storms bring rain, and many areas often experience ‘dry’ thunderstorms, which pose the risk of grass and forest fires. Typical thunderstorms last for around thirty minutes and measure around fifteen miles in diameter.
You can usually predict when a thunderstorm is likely to occur, as you will notice the sky darkening, the wind increasing, and you may notice lightening flashes. You will eventually begin to hear the first rumbling of thunder, which may bring with it heavy rains, hail or very strong winds. Warning of impending thunderstorms are normally given via local radio, although if a particularly bad storm is expected, towns and cities may be warned via public warning systems employed within the area.
Severe thunderstorms can be dangerous, and around ten percent of those in the Unites States each year are classed as severe, bringing with them hail and winds of over 58mph. The lightening produced from thunderstorms can be a killer, and is actually responsible for a higher mortality rate than tornadoes. The flash flooding caused by rain from thunderstorms is also a deadly danger, and is responsible for around 140 deaths per year.
A thunderstorm comes in three stages. The first stage is the development stage, where rising air is indicated by the cumulus cloud (which has a flat base and a bulky upper section). This stage lasts for around ten minutes, and there is usually very little rain if any, and occasional lightening. The storm then moves on to stage two, which is the mature stage. This is when you may come across heavy rain, strong winds, hail, frequent lightening, and even tornadoes. Although the average time period for this stage is ten to twenty minutes, it can go on for longer. The final stage of the storm is the dissipating stage, which is where rainfall starts to die off. Winds and lightening, however, can still pose a danger at this stage.
Every year thunderstorms cause havoc in countries across the globe, causing millions of dollars worth of damage as well as hundreds of injuries and a number of deaths. Some of the storm-related dangers that contribute to these figures include strong winds or tornadoes, flash flooding, and lighting.
Some of the damage known to result from thunderstorms includes structural damage to properties, damage to cars, fires, destruction of trees, destruction of power lines and cables, and injury or death. The severity of the thunderstorm contributes to the type and amount of damage likely to be caused, but the power of these storms should never be underestimated.
Although many people are afraid of thunderstorms, they can be fascinating and incredible to watch. However, you should always make sure that you find shelter in a safe place when a thunderstorm warning is given, as being out and about or driving in your car can put you in danger of being hit by lightening, being injured or killed through flash-flooding or being injured from the high winds.
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