Severe Storms

Term Definition
Thunderstorm Most common severe storm
T-Storm: Stage One Strong updrafts push through heavy clouds, clouds build up, rain begins
T-Storm: Stage Two Electric charges build up inside cloud, downdraft rubs against updraft causing sparks
T-Storm: Stage Three Storm dies when the downdraft becomes stronger than the updraft
Thunder The sound from superheated air expanding
Tornado Violent whirling wind on the ground that forms a storm
T: Stage One Dry, cold air mixes with warm, moist air
T: Stage Two Strong convection current with an updraft
T: Stage Three Air spins, pressure lowers, air spins faster
T: Stage Four Funnel forms and touches ground
Water Spout A tornado over water
Tornado Alley Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas. and parts of the middle US; tornadoes form here because cold, dry air(from the northwest) and warm, moist air(from the Gulf of Mexico) mix there and it is relatively flat
Hurricane Storms with low pressure centers that form over water
H: Stage One Warm water and lots of evaporation, thunderstorms and low pressure
H: Stage Two Winds spin counterclockwise causing small thunderstorms to be pulled together making larger ones
H: Stage Three More evaporation causing lower pressure causing more evaporation, etc…
H: Stage Four Low enough pressure causes faster winds that finally reach 75 mph, the beginning of a hurricane
H: Stage Five Eye forms in the center of the storm
Tropical Depression First sign of organized swirling
Tropical Storm Winds reach 39 mph, remains a tropical storm until winds reach 74 mph then it becomes a hurricane
Storm Surge Great rise of the ocean along the shore during a hurricane; can be 18 feet or more
Eye The calm, quiet center of a hurricane; indicates 1/2 of the storm has passed

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