Thunderstroms Essay

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Barak Spector Barak Spector 1 Susan Beamish Science December 5th 2011 Thunderstorms Long ago, it was not clear why thunderstorms occurred. Greeks believed their mighty god, Zeus, would hurtle a lightning bolt from his master bolt. Vikings believed that their god of weather, Thor, would strike his mighty hammer against an anvil, creating thunder and lightning. Native Americans believed the flapping of the wings and feather of their mighty thunderbird created lightning (Simon). Scientists now know today how clouds, lightning, and thunder form. Forming clouds is the first step in the process of a thunderstorm. Most of the water vapor in the atmosphere comes from the ocean. Water vapor is a result of water evaporating. Kinetic energy causes evaporation because the water molecules move all the time and it allows them to break free. Once the water breaks free, it needs to condense onto the dust particles in the atmosphere. In order for this to happen, the air temperature must reach its dew point. Dew point is when the air becomes saturated allowing the water vapor to condense. The air reaches its dew point with expansion. Expansion is when masses of air move upwards and the air molecules cool (Galiano 8-16). Thunderstorm clouds are called cumulonimbus clouds. They are dark and puffy and are located in the lower, middle, and upper part of the troposphere (Weather Prediction Education). Cumulonimbus clouds can reach as high as 50,000 feet and cover up to 200 square miles (Xdude Meteorology). Spector 2 Lightning begins with violent moving of ice crystals and raindrops in cumulonimbus clouds (Simon). When water forms inside the storm cloud, strong winds hurtle the water up to the top of the cloud. Next water forms into huge lumps of ice called hail. When the hail collides with ice slivers it creates positive

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