are convective storms. They need unstable air, a temperature profile
with warm air near the ground and cold air aloft. Thunderstorms
are more likely in the spring and summer than in the fall and winter.
In spring and summer the sun warms the ground, which warms the air
near the ground. Air near the ground is also warmed in the fall,
but there is an important difference. In the spring the air aloft
retains its winter cold; the air will be more unstable than in the
fall when the air aloft retains its summer warmth.
cycle of the thunderstorm is as follows:
humid air-called updrafts-rises from the ground.
the air cools to its dew point, condensation begins forming a cloud.
ice crystals or water drops grow big enough to overcome the updraft,
they begin falling, dragging down the air.
summer, ice melts on the way down.
falling precipitation and air being dragged down from downdrafts.
continue feeding warm, humid air into the storm. Existence of both
updrafts and downdrafts make this the storm's most violent stage.
grow, choking off updrafts.
its supply of humid air cut, the storm begins dying and rain tapers