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Casey FlynnFlynn 1 Mr Maloney Earth Science 4 April 2004 Meteorological Disaster Research Paper Meteorological Disasters are a byproduct of the Earths atmospheric and oceanic attempts to balance heat energy uniformly throughout the planet An example of a common meteorological disaster is thunderstorms Thunderstorms are storms that entail lightning and thunder created by a cumulonimbus cloud that normally produce intensive winds heavy rainfall and on occasion hail On average they reach about 15 miles in diameter and last for 30 minutes 100000 thunderstorms form over the continental United States per year and 10 are classified as severe There are 1800 thunderstorms at any given moment globally Despite popular belief lightning is not the primary killing element of a thunderstorm Flash flooding is the most potent product of a thunderstorm killing on average over one-hundred-forty people per year Tornadoes that come with thunderstorms are responsible for an average seventy deaths and 1500 injuries a year Severe winds can be a serious threat to aircraft and are capable of producing damage equal to that of a tornado National Weather Service In order for a thunderstorm to form several conditions must be present Moisture is necessary for the formation of clouds and rain The presence of unstable air or warm air capable of rising rapidly is also required And finally a lift factor must be included such as a cold or warm front sea breezes and mountains to lift the unstable hair to a higher altitude where it will cool and condense If these three elements are present under the right conditions then a thunderstorm will be set in motion with the first of three stages the developing stage The developing stage is where warm moist air is pushed Flynn 2 upwards by the lift force During this stage there is usually little to no rain and occasional lightning The development stage lasts for approximately ten minutes until the thunderstorm reaches its second stage the mature
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