When most people think of summer they think of warm weather and lake days. While those are all positives there are some negative sides of the summer season. Summer brings a higher percentage of thunderstorms. In the summer, thunderstorms typically develop in the afternoon when the sun heats air near the ground. If the atmosphere is unstable, bubbles of warm air will rise and produce clouds, precipitation, and eventually lightning. This blog will focus on the three ingredients that cause a thunderstorm.
Without moisture there would be no thunderstorms. In the summertime, most areas of the United States have sufficient moisture to generate thunderstorms if the other ingredients are present.
Rising air is needed to produce clouds, and rapidly rising air is needed to produce thunderstorms. For air to rise rapidly, it must become buoyant compared to the surrounding air. When the atmosphere is unstable, air near the ground can become buoyant and rise rapidly through the atmosphere.
Trigger in Atmosphere
This may be some sort of boundary such as a front, heating caused by the sun, or cooling aloft. Once a thunderstorm has developed, it will continue to generate boundaries that can trigger additional storms.