Severe thunderstorm frequency normally tops out at the start of June, or near the time when peak heating of the Sun is still attacking the last of Winter's leftover chill. On occasion, on the rear flank of a convective system responsible for a progressive derecho, a nearly stationary band of thunderstorms may form. The split-panel illustration below shows several mesovortices along a derecho-producing squall line as viewed by Doppler radar. As the collisions and freezing continue to occur, and the charges at the top and bottom of the cloud increase, the electric field becomes more and more intense -- so intense, in fact, that the electrons at the Earth's surface are repelled deeper into the Earth by the negative charge at the lower portion of the cloud. Thunderstorms can be exciting to watch, especially from the safety of your warm, comfy couch.

At any moment in time, over 1,800 thunderstorms are occurring around the world-that's 16 million a year!
Fact: Lightning often strikes outside of heavy rain and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall. Fact: Lightning-strike victims carry no electrical charge and should be attended to immediately.
The development of a thunderstorm's downdraft ordinarily marks the dissipation stage of that particular storm. As a result, striking shelf clouds on occasion occur in conjunction with relatively benign thunderstorms.

Most thunderstorms last about 30 minutes and are typically about 15 miles (24 km) inĀ­ diameter. Thereafter, the instance of severe weather fades, slowly at first, then at a quickening pace, as Sun's power begins to wane and the atmosphere reaches full Summer warmth. To understand why thunderstorms occur more often during the warm months requires some understanding of thunderstorm basics.Thunderstorms thrive under certain conditions.

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