How does a thunderstorm work?

Have you ever wondered how thunderstorm starts?
(The words underlined with a dotted line are translated when you pass the cursor over them.)

A thunderstorm is a form of severe weather characterized by the presence of lightning and thunder. It is often accompanied by copious rainfall, or, on occasion, snowfall.

Thunderstorms form when significant condensation, resulting in the production of a wide range of water droplets and ice crystals, occurs in an atmosphere that is unstable and supports deep, rapid upward motion.

1) In the cumulus stage of a thunderstorm cell, masses of moisture are pushed upwards; the moisture rapidly cools into liquid drops of water vapor, which appears as cumulus clouds. Not only are the masses of water vapor warmer than the surrounding air, but water vapor is less dense than dry air, and for both of these reasons the warm humid air will tend to rise in an updraft due to the process of convection.

2) In the mature stage, the accumulated water vapor has become large. The resulting cloud is called cumulonimbus. The water vapor will turn into heavy droplets and ice particles, which will fall onto the area below as rain. If temperatures in the upper atmosphere are cold enough, some of these droplets may actually form into masses of ice and fall as hail. While updrafts are still present, the falling rain creates downdrafts as well. The presence of both updrafts and downdrafts during this stage can cause considerable internal turbulence in the storm system, which sometimes manifests as strong winds, severe lightning, and even tornadoes.

3) Finally, in the dissipation stage, updraft conditions no longer exist, and the storm is characterized largely by weak downdrafts. Because most of the moisture has precipitated out as rain or ice (precipitation) there is no longer sufficient moisture in the lower air to sustain the cycle.

Let's now listen to it.

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Click here to see a photo of a magnificent cumulonimbus taken from 30.000 ft

This is just an introduction. If you want to know more about storms, I recommend reading these excellent pages.