What causes such severe weather? Can we prepare ourselves for these disasters?
What kinds of damage can a thunderstorm cause?
Powerful storms such as thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tornadoes are generated when warm, light air rises quickly into higher, colder levels in an unstable updraft that can reach over miles per hour. Each type of storm forms under specific conditions; hurricanes occur over moisture-rich oceans and coastlines, for example. They draw their energy from warm ocean waters. Understanding the conditions that give rise to powerful storms is the key to preparing for their devastating effects. At any given moment, there are an estimated 2, thunderstorms in progress over Earth's surface.
These storms can vary from relatively mild rainstorms to very damaging storms that feature hail and high wind. Thunderstorms form when warm air rises from Earth's surface and moves upwards quickly into the colder levels of the atmosphere. If conditions are right, tornadoes can form from this rapid updraft. Normally, however, the result is rain, wind, lightning, and thunder.
Without lightning, there would be no "thunder" in "thunderstorm. Lightning occurs during all thunderstorms though not every time it rains. During a storm, it strikes Earth times each second. More than just a dazzling light show, lightning causes billions of dollars in damage each year.
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Lightning forms when updrafts of air carry water droplets, which have a charge, upward to heights where some freeze into ice and snow particles. They form a cloud. As these particles begin to fall back to Earth, charges within the cloud become mixed. The differences in charge are released as lightning.
You'll normally hear the sound of lightning a few moments after you see the sky light up. Light travels faster than sound, so if you are at a distance from the storm, lightning and thunder may seem oddly disconnected.
Both tornadoes and hurricanes are spinning columns of air capable of causing great damage. There are important differences between these two powerful storms, however.source
Wild weather forecast: Feet of snow in the West; severe storms in central USA, milder East
Tornadoes are more localized and typically found on land, while hurricanes can cover vast areas and draw their power from the warm tropical oceans. Fawbush and Captain Robert C. The US has around 1, tornadoes each year — roughly four times as much as the rest of the world combined. The book includes foreboding skies, lightning strikes, thunderstorms, rain, and even a few rainbows. However, Tornado Alley has no real defined boundaries. Some definitions include Missouri, Louisiana, and Iowa, and leave out other states that Meola traveled to.
According to Meola, in a single day he traveled from Denver to the "high plains of Montana," to the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. A typical day for storm chasers can "start in Oklahoma City, then move into Kansas and Nebraska before going further north to end the night in South Dakota.
Air-mass thunderstorm - Wikipedia
Reid has been chasing storms since and holds a master's degree in geography. In , three storm chasers were killed in a car accident while they were tracking a tornado. The story was written by meteorologist Matthew Cappucci , who cited "traffic jams cars deep," "chasers barreling down a one-lane road at 90 mph," and "chasers driving on the wrong side of the road" as just a few of the major problems he saw during a May storm. The Great Plains are "often maligned as flat, lifeless, and empty," Meola writes. Gabbi Shaw.
Snapchat icon A ghost. Eric Meola has been a photographer for 50 years. He's particularly well known for his work with Bruce Springsteen. During a road trip together, Springsteen wrote his song, "The Promised Land," after their encounter with a storm. That's when Meola discovered his love of storm chasing.