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Dissipating Stage

After about 30 minutes, the thunderstorm begins to disappear. The cool downward wind stops the warm air from rising. No more rain is in the cloud. The cloud disappears.

The whole process takes about one hour for an ordinary thunderstorm.

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Thunderstorms

Thunderstorms are one of the most exciting and dangerous types of weather. Over 40,000 thunderstorms happen around the world each day. Thunderstorms form when very warm, moist air rises into cold air....more

Wind

Wind is moving air. Warm air rises, and cool air comes in to take its place. This movement creates the winds around the globe. Winds move at different speeds and have different names based on their speed....more

Rain

Raindrops form when tiny water droplets collide together in clouds to form bigger ones. When they get too heavy, rain falls out of the clouds. Rain is more than 5mm in diameter. The types of clouds that...more

Types of Thunderstorms

There are two main types of thunderstorms: ordinary and severe. Ordinary thunderstorms are the common summer storm. Ordinary thunderstorms last about one hour. Rain and small hail occur. Severe thunderstorms...more

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A supercell thunderstorm is a huge rotating thunderstorm. It can last for several hours. These storms are likely to form long lasting tornadoes and large hail. There are two types of supercell thunderstorms....more

Thunder and Lightning

Lightning is the coolest thing about a thunderstorm. In fact, it is how thunderstorms got their name. Wait a minute, what does thunder have to do with lightning? Well, lightning causes thunder. Lightning...more

Types of Lightning

Lightning occurs during a thunderstorm. Most lightning takes place within a single cloud. Sometimes lightning moves from a cloud to the ground. Other times it jumps from one cloud to another or into the...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA