• Question: what causes storm

    Asked by 374heab47 to Naomi on 16 Mar 2015.
    • Photo: Naomi Green

      Naomi Green answered on 16 Mar 2015:

      Hi there 374heab47 ๐Ÿ™‚

      Good question! I love thunderstorms and lightning, I think they are beautiful to watch.

      The first thing you need to know is that hot air rises. In certain weather conditions warm air will rise up from the ground and get trapped underneath the cold air above. As the warm air rises it cools down and some of it will change from a gas to a liquid, and form water droplets and form rain clouds. Sometimes this happens very quickly and the water droplets clump together and freeze creating ice crystals. Eventually these droplets and crystals become too heavy to be supported by the warm air which is rising from beneath and they fall as rain or hail.

      Sometimes as the hail falls through the cloud it rubs up against other hail stones and they get an electrical charge. The charged crystals are attracted to the Earthโ€™s surface or buildings and trees on it and eventually the difference in charge between the cloud and Earth becomes too big and an electrical current flows between the two. That electrical current is what you see as lightning. As the electrical energy is discharged to Earth it rapidly heats up the air in the cloud making it expand. As the water droplets bump into each other it makes a noise and that produces the thunder that you hear at the same time.

      I hope that answered your question

      Naomi ๐Ÿ™‚