Thunderstorms are small high-energy weather systems that create heavy rain, wind and lightning. These storms form when rapidly rising warm air condenses into an electrically charged cumulonimbus cloud. Lightning occurs when electricity is discharged from the cloud.
Tornadoes are funnels of high-speed, rotating winds that often develop in cumulonimbus clouds. Tornadoes form when there is a drastic change in wind direction with increasing altitude.Tornado alley is a region in the central United States that has a high frequency of tornadoes.
A hurricane is a large, tropical rotating weather system. A hurricane forms when winds moving in different directions collide over warm ocean water. As long as a hurricane is over open water, it has the potential to grow in strength.
4. Winter Storms
Winter weather occurs when moisture-rich air masses encounter cold, polar air masses. A snow belt exists in the northern United States along the Great Lakes, where warm water vapor mixes with cold air masses and creates lake-effect snow.