Thunderstorms need three ingredients for them to exist. There have to be moisture in the air, an rough atmosphere, and a lifting force. When all these are present, climate the excitement begins…

The Cumulus (developing) Stage

The Cumulus stage is the first stage. Pilots will endure updrafts as soon as in the vicinity of this clouds. Depending on the severity the the updrafts this clouds have the right to reach an altitude of more than 60,000 feet (rare, however possible). Clouds with extensive vertical advance are referred to as towering cumulus. Due to the fact that of continuous updrafts, over there is no precipitation. When these updrafts give, we relocate to the following stage.

The mature Stage

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An example of a mature Thunderstorm and also its dangers.

In the mature Stage, there room both updrafts and also downdrafts present. The start of rainfall signal the start of the maturation stage. This is the many dangerous phase of a thunderstorm due to the fact that it’s where most of the excited happens. Pilots can experience lightning, major turbulence, wind gusts, and even hail. Hail has been observed to travel much more than 20 nautical mile from a storm.

There are numerous signs that pilots have the right to observe throughout the day to projection the dangers of a storm, but common exercise is come circumnavigate the storm by at the very least 20 nm top top the upwind side. A very dangerous phenomenal dubbed microbursts can occur at this stage. Microbursts have downed airliners in the past like Delta flight 191, a Lockheed L-1011 which experienced a microburst during an instrument method that they couldn’t fly away from. Small general aviation airplanes have to not be getting everywhere near this storms.

An easy way to identify the motion of a storm is by observing the direction that the cloud anvil as it constantly appears top top the downwind side.

The Dissipating Stage

This is the finish of a thunderstorm, in ~ this point, because of a lack of warmth rising air, humidity is gone and the storm mostly consists of downdrafts. These downdrafts are indications that the storm is dying out. Irradiate rain and also light winds can still be present. This light rain rarely is a risk to irradiate aircraft however can still affect visibility.

Identifying which phase a thunderstorm is in have the right to be tricky; remember always check the weather radar of your flight path area, screen the automatically Terminal Information company (ATIS) of local airports, and when in doubt, store a distance of 20 nm on the upwind side of any kind of potential storms.

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Following these simple steps might save girlfriend from a many trouble.