But before we go into detail, we need to take a few steps back and look at the big picture. To understand thunderstorms, we first must dip our toes into underlying physical phenomena. These are phenomena you encounter in your every day life, often probably without even realizing it. You are certainly familiar with most of them, and in this introduction we will see how they influence the weather and thunderstorms. So before we talk about thunderstorms, we will talk about the environment they form and live in – our atmosphere.
The following two sections (1.1.1 and 1.1.2) will be a bit more technical: some physical processes and properties, but we will not delve into equations. Knowing these is very helpful for understanding of how clouds and thunderstorms work. You can skip these and go straight to clouds and thunderstorms in section 1.1.3.