This photograph shows the build-up of cumulus clouds.
Click on image for full size
Courtesy of Steve Albers
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. The precipitation associated
with them is rain and occasionally
small hail. An ordinary
cloud can grow up to 12 kilometers high.
Severe thunderstorms are really dangerous. They are
capable of producing baseball-sized hail, strong
winds, intense rain, flash floods, and
tornadoes. Severe thunderstorms
can last several hours and can grow 18 kilometers high.
Several phenomena are associated with severe thunderstorms. These
include the gust
front, microburst, supercell
and the squall
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