Summertime means fun in the sun but it can also mean afternoon storms… 

How do these storms form and why do some clouds grow into storms? Let’s talk about it.. 

The first stage of storm development is known as the cumulus stage. In this stage, the air is rising. As this happens, it cools and condenses into cumulus clouds – taking some of the water vapor in the atmosphere and turning it into clouds. 

As the air continues to rise, we reach the towering phase. This is when the cumulus clouds no longer look like small puffy clouds, but rather taller, longer clouds. In this stage, air is rapidly moving upward – causing the cloud to grow upward. 

As the air continues to rise, the storm gets tall enough to create rainfall – and the t-storm phase commences.  We can see rain,  sometimes hail and gusty winds and of course – lightning! 

There are several types of lightning that storms produce. The most common types of cloud to ground, cloud to sky, intracloud and cloud to ground – positive strikes. These positive strikes are often the ones that do the most damage and can strike out of the blue – even before the rain is falling. That’s why if you hear thunder, it’s time to pack it in and head indoors -even if it’s not raining.

Of course -a good way to get a heads up about storms is to take along our WAVY Weather App when you go out. That way you can look at the radar and lightning data to see where the storms are.