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Section 1

What Conditions Create Thunderstorms?

In this section you will find materials that support the implementation of EarthComm: Florida, Section 1: What Conditions Create Thunderstorms?.

Inquiring Further

  1. To learn more about tracking weather events over time using a weather map, visit the following web site:

    National Weather Service, NOAA
    Map of the United States showing current weather forecasts.  Click on your region for a more specific forecast.

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

    National Weather Service Warnings and Forecasts, NOAA
    Click on your state to see if there are any current watches, warnings, or advisories for your community.

    How Much Severe Weather Occurs in My Community?, NOAA
    Provides web links to help you determine how your community has been affected by severe weather.

    Severe Thunderstorm Events, NOAA
    Click on the “Index of Events” tab to view a list of severe thunderstorm events that have occurred in the U.S. since 2000.  

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

How and Why Warm Air Rises

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

Air Masses and Fronts

Air Masses, NOAA
Overview of air masses and fronts.

Air Masses, NOAA
Explains how air masses form, the principle classifications that influence the continental United States, and the formation of fronts between them.

Characteristics of Air Parcels and Air Masses, NASA
Examines the characteristics of air masses, the lifting or rising of an air mass, air mass classification, and directions of movement of the major air masses.

Development of a Thunderstorm

Information about Thunderstorms, NOAA
Defines and gives facts on thunderstorms, explains the conditions necessary for thunderstorm development, the stages of a thunderstorm, and types of thunderstorms.

Thunderstorms and Lightning...the Underrated Killers!, NOAA
Reviews the hazards associated with thunderstorms, including winds, rain, hail, and lightning. Also reviews the development of thunderstorms, where thunderstorms are likely to occur, and how to remain safe during a thunderstorm.

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