Why are Severe Thunderstorms Dangerous?

Severe Thunderstorms may not seem very dangerous, but they can be really deadly if people don't take caution. One of the most hazardous parts of a thunderstorm is the lightning. It can strike buildings and even people! If lightning strikes a building, it may catch fire. Also, it will harm anyone inside. If lightning strikes a person, they may survive, but they will be very injured. It depends on where they were struck. The rain from a thunderstorm can be dangerous as well. It can cause floods, which can erode the land, ruining houses and other buildings.

How do Severe Thunderstorms Form?

A Severe Thunderstorm usually happens near a cold front, and in low pressure areas.Water evaporates from the earth, and it turns into vapor.The vapor attaches to dust particles in the air, and the vapor condenses into a cloud.In the event of a thunderstorm, there will be large, grey Cumulonimbus clouds in the air.Once there is too much water in the cloud for it to hold, it has to let that water out.This causes precipitation, when there is a Severe Thunderstorm, it forms rain, freezing rain, or hail.Since the clouds are so big, there is a lot of precipitation and lightning.In the cloud, frozen droplets of water are moving around, and they run into each other.This creates electrical charges, and after a while, the cloud is filled with them.

Severe Thunderstorms in the Past

Thunderstorms don't cause much death, but they can cause a lot of injury and damage.

Fort Worth, Texas--May 5, 1995

  • Damage cost: $2 billion+
  • Injury: 100 people
  • Deaths: none reported

London, England--August 14, 1975

  • Damage: 80 families rehoused(cost not reported)
  • Injury: 2 people
  • Death: 1 man

How Have These Thunderstorms Impacted Human Life?

One way humans have kept safe from thunderstorms is by building lightning rods. These are long metal poles on the top of building so, if there's a thunderstorm, lightning will hit the rod instead of the building. The lightning rod safely drains the electricity into the ground.

Another way to stay safe in a thunderstorm is by knowing it's going to happen before it happens. Scientists have made better technology to see a thunderstorm before it happens. They have radar to sense them.



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