In Nordic culture, the strongest god in Norse mythology is Thor, the holder of Maelstrom hammer and god of thunder. While in Greek mythology, the ruler of all gods in Olympia is Zeus, again the god with thunder as its main weapon.
Thunder has been one of the most feared natural occurrence for many centuries of human civilization. That’s why in many ancient cultures, thunder and lightning gods has been described as the strongest among all.
Being the strongest can be closely associated to be the most feared one. And looking on the elements the gods mentioned above are mastering at, we might draw a conclusion that thunder has been feared by ancient culture. But why thunder was so feared by ancient people?
Most likely because thunder has a destructive force that can kill human instantly or burn the whole forest with just one strike. In addition, people might find a great terror in thunderstorms where thunders and lightnings occur more frequently and vigorously.
We don’t want to persuade you to be infidel to the thunder gods, but here in this article we just want to share an information about thunderstorm. Thus, next time you see one you know that it is a natural occurrence that is scientifically explainable, instead of a god punishment.
What Is It?
Thunderstorm is a storm which is accompanied with the presence of vigorous lightning and thunder. It is the result of rapid upward movement made by warm air to cool down. In this process, the cooling air condenses and form cumulonimbus cloud about 20 kilometers above earth’s surface.
The cloud might cause some electrostatic discharge in the atmosphere or contain it itself, which need to be released. Lightning is basically how the discharged atmosphere or cloud equalize the difference in electric charge between different region of the cloud, between two clouds, or between the cloud and the ground.
The sudden temperature rise caused by the lightning spark causes a sonic shock wave similar to a sonic boom. Thus, the exploding sound of the thunder is produced, which is usually called as thunderclap or peal of thunder.
In some severe weather cases, the process happens repetitively accompanied with rainfall, snowfall, or just strong winds. The reason why the weather becomes so severe is because while the droplets fall, it causes a downdraft that pulls the cold air down with it.
The descent of the cold air causes strong winds in the area beneath it and thus how the storm is built. Along with the process, the electrostatic discharge might continue to release. This is what we call as thunderstorm, mainly named after the electric discharging process to emphasizes the most noticeable aspect.
Kinds Of Thunderstorm
It can be categorized into many types, mainly depends on the severity and duration. At least there are five types of thunderstorms which are single-cell, multi-cell, supercells, severe, and mesoscale convective system or MCS.
Single-cell thunderstorm is the weaker one that usually only occurs for 30 to 60 minutes long and this thunderstorm is usually small. Single-cell thunderstorm usually occurs in your neighborhood during a summer afternoon.
While the multi-cell thunderstorm is the more severe version of it. However, this is the type of thunderstorm that we usually see. Multi-cell thunderstorms usually travel for many miles, last for hours, and may cause strong wind blows or even tornadoes.
Supercell is the greatest one, capable of producing violent tornadoes with F3 classification or more. If supercells thunderstorm appears, most likely the droplets produced by the storm will be large hailstones instead of water.
MSC thunderstorm is a complex thunderstorm which is formed from several thunderstorms becoming one huge thunderstorm. This kind of thunderstorm may spread across an entire state and last for more than half a day.
Severe thunderstorm, unlike the four kinds of thunderstorms mentioned above, is more likely a classification. A thunderstorm is classed as severe when the wind blow reaches at least 93 kilometers per hour, hail is 1 inch in diameter, and funnels or tornado occurs. Any kinds of MSC, multi-cell and supercell can be classed as severe when all those three requirements are fulfilled.
Hazards And Impacts
Thunderstorms, like any other kinds of storms, also bring its own hazard to human, starting from damaging the buildings to taking somebody’s life. Each year, thunderstorms all around the world cause millions dollar worth of loss.
Lightning strikes during the lightning storm have caused several fatalities each year, especially in areas of the world when thunderstorm frequently occurs, such as Florida. Most of the casualties of lightning strikes are people who work outside during the thunderstorm.
Sometimes thunderstorm may also include a rain of hail which is known as hailstorm. Hailstorm usually cause serious damage to buildings, vehicles, glass-roofed structures, livestock, and almost everything that’s exposed directly to it, including human.
Thunderstorms may also summon tornadoes in the process, which are far more destructive compared to hailstorms or lightning strikes. Most tornadoes are attaining wind speed of 480 kilometers per hour and travel several kilometers on the ground while erasing anything it pass through.
How To Prepare For A Thunderstorm
Although it occurs more frequently in some areas of the world compared to others, actually thunderstorms may appear in just any part of the planet. Since thunderstorm might cause severe damage both to our belongings and ourselves, it is wise to take some precautions before thunderstorms.
One way to measure whether the thunderstorm might be hazardous to you or not is by listening it. if you see a thunderstorm but you can barely hear the sound of the thunders, then you are most likely safe from any threats. While if you can hear the thunder roars, it means that you are close enough to the area of effect.
The steps are pretty easy, just be alert to broadcasted information and natural signs about upcoming thunderstorms, prepare a safe shelter to hide during the storm, make sure to get rid of things which can be blown by the winds like dead trees which can damage your belongings.
After you have done all those steps, and the storm is coming, make sure to keep yourself and other people safe. Stay away from windows and doors to avoid broken glasses, do not shower since plumbing may conduct electricity, and stay away from electrical appliances and any kind of wired things too.