Worldwide, there are an estimated 16 million thunderstorms each year, and at any given moment, there are roughly 2,000 thunderstorms in progress. Thunderstorms have three stages in their life cycle: The developing stage, the mature stage, and the dissipating stage. The developing stage of a thunderstorm is marked by a cumulus cloud that is being pushed upward by a rising column of air (updraft).
Thunderstorms are most likely in the spring and summer months and during the afternoon and evening hours, but they can occur year-round and at all hours.


Under the right conditions, rainfall from thunderstorms causes flash flooding, killing more people each year than hurricanes, tornadoes or lightning. Strong (up to more than 120 mph) straight-line winds associated with thunderstorms knock down trees, power lines and mobile homes. Along the Gulf Coast and across the southeastern and western states, most thunderstorms occur during the afternoon.
At the ground, the gust front moves out a long distance from the storm and cuts off the warm moist air that was feeding the thunderstorm.





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