Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Thunder Storms

As I was gazing out of the window across the fields at the expanse of sky it occurred to me that we haven't had a thunderstorm this winter. Do they only occur in summer, and if so why? I suppose the weather conditions are more favourable in summer as the temperature gradient in winter is smaller the air cannot rise as rapidly or something. The idea that thunderstorms start at ground level is rather bizarre, but it must be the case. Does this mean absorption by the sun is essential?

2 Comments:

Anonymous KH said...

As far as I know your theory holds good. The steeper the temperature gradient the faster the air rises. The energy does come from the sun but the electrical charge I think comes from the Friction of the air molecules as they move and generate ions (ie charged particles). You can get winter storms from unstable air masses but they are a lot rarer.

Incidentally have you seen the lightning that is generated by hot volcano gases ?

Any way you're the one with the -ology (Slight giggle)

9:30 PM  
Blogger Bruce in Sanity said...

I think it's the frozen water (ie hailstones) going up and down the cell of rising and falling air that makes the Van der Graff genny effect.

There's an interesting site called Met-monkey for techie weather stuff like this:

www.met-monkey.co.uk

Cheers

Bruce

9:36 AM  

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