How Do Thunderstorms Form? - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

How Do Thunderstorms Form?

Here in Texoma the springtime weather provides all the elements needed for thunderstorms. Gusty south winds in the spring bring in moisture from the gulf of Mexico. Moisture is needed for clouds and rain. Temperatures at the surface of the earth get nice and warm, while a little cold winter air still lingers above us.

The thunderstorm needs warm, moist air to rise from the surface and keep rising high in the sky. In the spring, cold fronts blast through our area adding even more lift and thunderstorms are born. The rising air forms updrafts. We can see this out on the horizon as clouds grow taller and taller.

Air rising to the top of the thunderstorm begins to slow down and spread out creating a flat top or anvil so often seen here on a stormy day.  Air begins to fall back down to the surface. It rushes to the ground and falls as rain. Lightning begins to flash and thunder rattles the windows.

All thunderstorms contain deadly lightning. But powerful springtime storms have damaging hailstones forming in those strong updrafts. And rain cooled air can produce damaging wind speeds over 60 mph. Blinding heavy rain can cause flash flooding.