Skip to NavigationSkip to Content
Image that reads Storm-E Weather Simulation that links to the Storm-E home page.
Button that takes you to Students.Button that takes you to Teachers.Button that takes you to Weather Extra.Button that takes you to Links. Button that takes you to Images.
Image that reads Weather Extra.
Weather Tools  
Time Zone  
Map Skills  
Radar Imagery  
Infrared Imagery  


Thunderstorms affect smaller areas than hurricanes and winter storms, but they can still cause damage. Thunderstorms may produce lightning, strong winds and tornadoes, hail, or flash flooding. An average thunderstorm lasts 30 minutes and covers an area about 15 miles in diameter.

The United States has an estimated 100,000 thunderstorms each year, and about 10 percent are severe. Three conditions are needed to create a thunderstorm: (1) enough moisture to form clouds and rain; (2) warm, unstable air, which will rise rapidly; and (3) something like a warm or cold front, sea breezes, the sun’s heat, or a mountain range to cause an air mass to lift.

Privacy Statement and Copyright © 1999-2004 by Wheeling Jesuit University/The NASA-sponsored Classroom of the Future program. All rights reserved.
Some images copyright © 2004