For days I watched the clouds pile up each afternoon without yielding more than a few drops of rain. The sky would fill in all directions with great cloud anvils that would spread and disintegrate and finally clear, failing to deliver promised rain.
Then last night, we finally got a good monsoon downpour. My street, which is not usually prone to flooding, was covered to a depth of over a foot (30 cm). I’m glad I was safe at home to enjoy the storm and especially glad I was not on the freeways or major roads. Phonecians are terrible drivers in the best conditions, but they are signally inept in the rain. I was happy to be away from the ruckus.
In Tempe, we got almost 2 inches (5 cm) of rain in about half an hour. It may not seem like much if you live in a wetter climate, but it is significant here, where our average total rainfall for the entire year is only 8 inches (20 cm).
Photography/time lapse stitched video taken over Florida during the spring and summer months captures the development of the tropical thunderstorms that move over that state. Some really nice illustrations of classic storm features, including upwelling air contributing to cloud formation. Around 3:10 there’s a really well developed cloud at the tropopause with a classic overshooting top.
you should explain the three stages of thunderstorm development
Thunderstorms can be separated out similarly to most things.
It’s about to do the thing
It’s doing the thing
The thing is ending
Very very technical discussion. I know. So let’s apply weather terms to those three things! There is:
So first off Cumulus Stage
These clouds are extremely familiar to us, so where do they come from? The answer is instability in the air. And in order to get that instability we need some parcels of air to have different density than the rest of the air. This frequently comes in the form of daytime heating from sunlight.
“Mammatus clouds are most often associated with the anvil cloud and severe thunderstorms. They often extend from the base of a cumulonimbus, but may also be found under altocumulus, altostratus, stratocumulus, and cirrus clouds, as well as volcanic ash clouds. When occurring in cumulonimbus, mammatus are often indicative of a particularly strong storm or perhaps even a tornadic storm.”
Incus form in cumulonimbus clouds. As cumulonimbus rapidly grow to very large sizes, they can reach a point in the atmosphere of temperature inversion. This is when a region of warmer air blows over a region of cold air. This boundary usually occurs at the tropopause; the separation of the troposphere and stratosphere. This boundary then acts as a ceiling, stopping the vertical development of the cumulonimbus and causing it to spread out in an anvil shape.