Radar Observes the Weather

By Louis J. Battan | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 7
THUNDERSTORMS, TORNADOES, AND HURRICANES*

Every year many people lose their lives, and millions of dollars' worth of property and crops are destroyed by the weather. Extended periods of too much or too little rain, blizzards and cold waves take part of the toll. But by far the most lethal and destructive storms are thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes. Thunderstorms may produce torrential rains and flash floods. They often are factories for hailstones which flatten crops. They act as giant generators which separate huge quantities of electric charge. When the voltage difference between the cloud and the ground becomes sufficiently great, the cloud discharges itself in a spasm of lightning. Finally, thunderstorms frequently cause gusty winds strong enough to produce great damage.

Tornadoes are almost always associated with thunderstorms but they occur much less frequently. When they do appear, they deal out death and destruction

____________________
*

See The Nature of Violent Storms by Louis J. Battan, Science Study Series, S 19, for a more detailed discussion of thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes.

-83-

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