The dark clouds roll in, lighting lights up the sky and thunder rumbles in the distance a thunderstorm is coming, or as some people call then a lighting storm or electrical storm.
A thunderstorm can develop from one of four systems.
~ SINGLE CELL
~ MULTICELL CLUSTER
~ MULTICELL LINES
* Single Cell
The anatomy of a single cell thunderstorm has one updraft and forms as a result of unstable air conditions. Such as a “heat” thunderstorm which is experienced mainly in the summer months after a hot day when the warm air mixes with the cooler air in higher attitudes of the atmosphere. A single cell storm doesn’t usually produce rain just lighting.
The supercell thunderstorm is the most severe type of thunderstorm with a complex anatomy. It contains both an updraft and a downdraft accompanied by wind speeds of 20 miles an hour and gusts that sustain a minimum of 25 miles an hour for a least 60 seconds at a time. These thunderstorms produce heavy rain, hail, dangerous lightening and tornados.
* Multicell Clusters
The anatomy of a Multicell cluster is the result of a low pressure system that meets with a cold front. They form organized storms and strong updrafts which can produce moderate rain and lightening.
* Multicell Lines
These thunderstorms are also known as squall lines and are most commonly found as an after effect of a tropical storm system. There anatomy is made up of rain bands and a strong updraft with a connected downdraft producing
strong winds and often spawning tornados.
THUNDERSTORMS and LIGHTING
There are seven types of lighting associated with the anatomy of a thunderstorm.
~ Dry Lighting – Is not accompanied by rain and is most often found in a single cell storm such as a “heat” lighting or thunderstorm.
~ Clouds to Ground – Just as the name suggest the lighting comes from the cloud and hit’s the ground. This is the most common and dangerous form of lighting in a thunderstorm.
~ Cloud to Cloud – This type of lighting in a thunderstorm is not very common. The lighting actually jumps from one cloud to another cloud and may be present in supercell thunderstorms.
~ Ground to Cloud – The lighting is generated in the earth and shoots upward to the cloud as a result of the electrical energy being drawn to the cloud.
~ Air to Cloud – This type of lightening is seen in multicell thunderstorms and the lightening strikes in the air.
~ In Cloud Lightening – Is the most common form of lightening associated with thunderstorms. The lightening is “striking” in the clouds it is charged in.
~ Ball Lighting – Very rare form of lighting and is seem as a large round ball of electricity in the sky.
Lightening is a very important part of the anatomy of the thunderstorm because without the lightening you would simply have a rain storm.