Thunderstorms typically happen in the springtime and summertime, but can happen at all times of year. Even in cold weather. What were going to do here is go over a life of a thunderstorm and consider safety steps and tools that you can use.
Now a thunderstorm develops from differing air masses. Usually air masses that are warm and cold. During the summer it usually is when cooler and drier air is trying to push out warm and moist air. The storm’s develops usually along or in front of a cold front. Now during the winter it is usually due to a dynamic low pressure system that developed and can lead to thunder-snow and even severe weather on the southern portions of the storm.
Does it always have to be warm to be a thunderstorm? NO, thunderstorms can occur even in cold weather and they can even be severe with temperatures in the 40′s and 50′s. Temperatures are just one factor that creates thunderstorms.
What does it take to qualify as a severe thunderstorm? Typically a severe thunderstorm is formed when winds are at a dangerously high level and hail is large. This can cause significant damage. Usually winds are in excess of 58mph and hail is at least 1″ large. Usually about a quarter size.
Thunderstorms usually start off as a cluster of cumulus clouds as the cloud absorbs moisture. As it continues its development it gets to its mature phase and usually starts to produce rainfall. As the thunderstorm continues to develop it may get to the point where you would see lighting and hear thunder. There may be hail and in extreme cases strong winds and even tornadoes.
To put it mildly, thunderstorms are a large part of storm systems that develop, such as hurricanes, and coastal lows, and subtropical storms. We will discuss that in another segment.