Thunderstorms - Introduction

  • Are many types
  • usually form in an unstable environment - in the mT air mass
  • often triggered by:
    • strong surface heating
    • terrain
    • frontal boundaries - examples:
      • cold, warm fronts
      • sea-breeze fronts
      • dryline
  • act to transport warm, moist air aloft, and bring down cool air to the surface
  • hence, thunderstorms act to stablize the atmosphere
">image adopted from Meteorology Today by C. Donald Ahrens  1994 West Publishing Company