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Activity 1 - What Conditions Create Thunderstorms?

Use the resources listed below to help you complete this activity.


To learn more about this topic, visit the following web sites:

How and Why Warm Air Rises

"What Causes the Weather?" -
Article reviews the basics behind the causes of weather, focusing on the uneven heating of the Earth and the Earth's rotation. Also reviews the first law of equilibrium, which explains the physics of why warm air rises.

"Stability and Cloud Development" - John Hannan, Florida State University
Reviews the mechanisms that cause air to rise. Includes a graphic that illustrates convective uplift, orographic uplift, frontal wedging, and convergence.

Development of a Thunderstorm

"The Thunderstorm" - National Weather Service - NOAA
Defines and gives facts on thunderstorms, explains the conditions necessary for thunderstorm development, the stages of a thunderstorm, and types of thunderstorms.


Inquiring Further:

To learn more about severe weather events in your community, visit the following web sites:

National Weather Service forecast office

National Weather Association Local Chapters
Includes links to several local weather offices.


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Last updated: May 11, 2010

This project is supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation and the AGI Foundation. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Foundation.




Severe Weather

Activity 1
Activity 2
Activity 3
Activity 4
Activity 5
Activity 6



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