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1. Introduction to convective weather

1.1. Cauliflower clouds

Not all clouds produce thunderstorms, in fact, fairly few do so. You can spot clouds that indicate a thunderstorm may develop, is developing or has...
1. Introduction to convective weather

1.1.1. Convection

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...
1. Introduction to convective weather
1. Introduction to convective weather

1.1.1.2. Buoyancy

We will first define an air parcel. We are going to be using this term a lot. An air parcel is an imaginary volume of...
1. Introduction to convective weather

1.1.1.3. Phase changes of water

Phase changes in water Water is present in the atmosphere in solid (ice), liquid and gas form. To understand weather and thunderstorms, we need to...
1. Introduction to convective weather

1.1.1.4. Convection

Convection As we have seen, warmer air has a lower density than colder air. This makes it buoyant, making it rise. This is what makes...
1. Introduction to convective weather

1.1.1.5. Moist convection

Moist convection Warm *moist* air, however, behaves somewhat differently. This difference is crucial for the formation of thunderstorms. As the parcel of warm, moist air...
1. Introduction to convective weather

1.1.2. Atmospheric instability

As air near the ground heats, it becomes more and more unstable and becomes more and more likely to rise convectivelly. We now take a...
1. Introduction to convective weather

1.1.2.1. Stable and unstable atmosphere

Stable and unstable atmosphere, instability Atmospheric stability is the resistance of the atmosphere to vertical motion of air. A stable atmosphere inhibits vertical motion. An...
1. Introduction to convective weather