Air mass thunderstorms - Life Cycle

Dissipating Stage

  • Storm is dominated by the downdraft
  • precip intensity at the ground weakens
  • end up with a cold pool air air at the ground, warm air is now aloft
  • hence, the storm has stabilized the environment


As a parcel of air rises in a thunderstorm updraft, it will eventually reach saturation at cloud base and water vapor will start condensing into water. Will this process inhibit or enhance the updraft? Explain.

8. With the aid of a diagram, explain why stronger downdrafts will form if the air descending in the downdraft is sub saturated rather than saturated.

image adopted from Meteorology Today by C. Donald Ahrens  1994 West Publishing Company