Severe weather

Severe weather

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Severe weather phenomena are weather
Weather
Weather is the state of the atmosphere, to the degree that it is hot or cold, wet or dry, calm or stormy, clear or cloudy. Most weather phenomena occur in the troposphere, just below the stratosphere. Weather refers, generally, to day-to-day temperature and precipitation activity, whereas climate...

 conditions that are hazardous to human life and property.

Examples Include


Severe weather can occur under a variety of situations, but three characteristics are generally needed: a temperature or moisture boundary, moisture, and (in the event of severe, precipitation-based events), instability in the atmosphere.
  • Cyclone
    Cyclone
    In meteorology, a cyclone is an area of closed, circular fluid motion rotating in the same direction as the Earth. This is usually characterized by inward spiraling winds that rotate anticlockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere of the Earth. Most large-scale...

     (generic)
    • Arctic cyclone
  • Fog
    Fog
    Fog is a collection of water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth's surface. While fog is a type of stratus cloud, the term "fog" is typically distinguished from the more generic term "cloud" in that fog is low-lying, and the moisture in the fog is often generated...

  • Heat wave
    Heat wave
    A heat wave is a prolonged period of excessively hot weather, which may be accompanied by high humidity. There is no universal definition of a heat wave; the term is relative to the usual weather in the area...

  • Cold wave
    Cold wave
    A cold wave is a weather phenomenon that is distinguished by a cooling of the air. Specifically, as used by the U.S. National Weather Service, a cold wave is a rapid fall in temperature within a 24 hour period requiring substantially increased protection to agriculture, industry, commerce, and...

  • Severe thunderstorm (hail
    Hail
    Hail is a form of solid precipitation. It consists of balls or irregular lumps of ice, each of which is referred to as a hail stone. Hail stones on Earth consist mostly of water ice and measure between and in diameter, with the larger stones coming from severe thunderstorms...

    storm, microburst
    Microburst
    A microburst is a very localized column of sinking air, producing damaging divergent and straight-line winds at the surface that are similar to, but distinguishable from, tornadoes, which generally have convergent damage. There are two types of microbursts: wet microbursts and dry microbursts...

    , doomcloud)
    • Supercell
      Supercell
      A supercell is a thunderstorm that is characterized by the presence of a mesocyclone: a deep, continuously-rotating updraft. For this reason, these storms are sometimes referred to as rotating thunderstorms...

    • Derecho
      Derecho
      A derecho is a widespread and long-lived, violent convectively induced straight-line windstorm that is associated with a fast-moving band of severe thunderstorms in the form of a squall line usually taking the form of a bow echo...

    • Squall line
      Squall line
      A squall line is a line of severe thunderstorms that can form along or ahead of a cold front. In the early 20th century, the term was used as a synonym for cold front. It contains heavy precipitation, hail, frequent lightning, strong straight-line winds, and possibly tornadoes and waterspouts....

  • Tornado
    Tornado
    A tornado is a violent, dangerous, rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud. They are often referred to as a twister or a cyclone, although the word cyclone is used in meteorology in a wider...

     (also colloquially referred to as a "whirlwind" or "twister")
    • Waterspout
      Waterspout
      A waterspout is an intense columnar vortex that occurs over a body of water and is connected to a cumuliform cloud. In the common form, it is a non-supercell tornado over water. While it is often weaker than most of its land counterparts, stronger versions spawned by mesocyclones do occur...

  • Tropical cyclone
    Tropical cyclone
    A tropical cyclone is a storm system characterized by a large low-pressure center and numerous thunderstorms that produce strong winds and heavy rain. Tropical cyclones strengthen when water evaporated from the ocean is released as the saturated air rises, resulting in condensation of water vapor...

     (also called a hurricane, typhoon, or "cyclone")
  • Windstorm (gradient pressure induced)
    • European windstorm
      European windstorm
      A European windstorm is a severe cyclonic windstorm associated with areas of low atmospheric pressure that track across the North Atlantic towards northwestern Europe. They are most common in the winter months...

      s
  • Winter storm
    Winter storm
    A winter storm is an event in which the dominant varieties of precipitation are formed that only occur at low temperatures, such as snow or sleet, or a rainstorm where ground temperatures are low enough to allow ice to form...

    • Blizzard
      Blizzard
      A blizzard is a severe snowstorm characterized by strong winds. By definition, the difference between blizzard and a snowstorm is the strength of the wind. To be a blizzard, a snow storm must have winds in excess of with blowing or drifting snow which reduces visibility to 400 meters or ¼ mile or...

    • Ice storm
      Ice storm
      An ice storm is a type of winter storm characterized by freezing rain, also known as a glaze event or in some parts of the United States as a silver thaw. The U.S. National Weather Service defines an ice storm as a storm which results in the accumulation of at least of ice on exposed surfaces...

    • Hurricane

Phenomena caused by non-thunderstorm severe weather include

  • Avalanche
    Avalanche
    An avalanche is a sudden rapid flow of snow down a slope, occurring when either natural triggers or human activity causes a critical escalating transition from the slow equilibrium evolution of the snow pack. Typically occurring in mountainous terrain, an avalanche can mix air and water with the...

  • Blizzard
    Blizzard
    A blizzard is a severe snowstorm characterized by strong winds. By definition, the difference between blizzard and a snowstorm is the strength of the wind. To be a blizzard, a snow storm must have winds in excess of with blowing or drifting snow which reduces visibility to 400 meters or ¼ mile or...

  • Drought
    Drought
    A drought is an extended period of months or years when a region notes a deficiency in its water supply. Generally, this occurs when a region receives consistently below average precipitation. It can have a substantial impact on the ecosystem and agriculture of the affected region...

  • Dust storm
    Dust storm
    A dust / sand storm is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid and semi-arid regions. Dust storms arise when a gust front or other strong wind blows loose sand and dirt from a dry surface. Particles are transported by saltation and suspension, causing soil to move from one place and deposition...

    , haboob
    Haboob
    A haboob is a type of intense duststorm carried on an atmospheric gravity current. Haboobs are regularly observed in arid regions throughout the world. They have been observed in the Sahara desert , as well as across the Arabian Peninsula, throughout Kuwait, and in the most arid regions of Iraq...

    , Dust devil
    Dust devil
    A dust devil is a strong, well-formed, and relatively long-lived whirlwind, ranging from small to large . The primary vertical motion is upward...

  • Landslide
    Landslide
    A landslide or landslip is a geological phenomenon which includes a wide range of ground movement, such as rockfalls, deep failure of slopes and shallow debris flows, which can occur in offshore, coastal and onshore environments...

    , mudslide
  • Flood
    Flood
    A flood is an overflow of an expanse of water that submerges land. The EU Floods directive defines a flood as a temporary covering by water of land not normally covered by water...

    , flash flood
    Flash flood
    A flash flood is a rapid flooding of geomorphic low-lying areas—washes, rivers, dry lakes and basins. It may be caused by heavy rain associated with a storm, hurricane, or tropical storm or meltwater from ice or snow flowing over ice sheets or snowfields...

  • Wildfire
    Wildfire
    A wildfire is any uncontrolled fire in combustible vegetation that occurs in the countryside or a wilderness area. Other names such as brush fire, bushfire, forest fire, desert fire, grass fire, hill fire, squirrel fire, vegetation fire, veldfire, and wilkjjofire may be used to describe the same...

    , firestorm
    Firestorm
    A firestorm is a conflagration which attains such intensity that it creates and sustains its own wind system. It is most commonly a natural phenomenon, created during some of the largest bushfires, forest fires, and wildfires...

  • High Seas
  • Zud
    Zud
    A zud or dzud is a Mongolian term for an extremely snowy winter in which livestock are unable to find fodder through the snow cover, and large numbers of animals die due to starvation and the cold. The term is also used for other meteorological conditions, especially in winter, that make livestock...


Phenomena caused by severe thunderstorms

  • Large Hail
    Hail
    Hail is a form of solid precipitation. It consists of balls or irregular lumps of ice, each of which is referred to as a hail stone. Hail stones on Earth consist mostly of water ice and measure between and in diameter, with the larger stones coming from severe thunderstorms...

  • High winds - 58 mph or higher.
  • Tornado
    Tornado
    A tornado is a violent, dangerous, rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud. They are often referred to as a twister or a cyclone, although the word cyclone is used in meteorology in a wider...

    es
  • Deadly Lightning
    Lightning
    Lightning is an atmospheric electrostatic discharge accompanied by thunder, which typically occurs during thunderstorms, and sometimes during volcanic eruptions or dust storms...

  • Flood
    Flood
    A flood is an overflow of an expanse of water that submerges land. The EU Floods directive defines a flood as a temporary covering by water of land not normally covered by water...

    , flash flood
    Flash flood
    A flash flood is a rapid flooding of geomorphic low-lying areas—washes, rivers, dry lakes and basins. It may be caused by heavy rain associated with a storm, hurricane, or tropical storm or meltwater from ice or snow flowing over ice sheets or snowfields...


See also

  • Extreme weather
    Extreme weather
    Extreme weather includes weather phenomena that are at the extremes of the historical distribution, especially severe or unseasonal weather. The most commonly used definition of extreme weather is based on an event's climatological distribution. Extreme weather occurs only 5% or less of the time...

  • Meteorology
    Meteorology
    Meteorology is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere. Studies in the field stretch back millennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not occur until the 18th century. The 19th century saw breakthroughs occur after observing networks developed across several countries...

  • Severe weather terminology (United States)
    Severe weather terminology (United States)
    This article describes the United States National Weather Service severe weather terminology. The NWS defines precise meanings for nearly all its weather terms. This article describes NWS terminology and related NWS weather scales...

  • Space weather
    Space weather
    Space weather is the concept of changing environmental conditions in near-Earth space or thespace from the Sun's atmosphere to the Earth's atmosphere. It is distinct from the concept ofweather within the Earth's planetary atmosphere...

  • Severe weather
    Severe weather
    Severe weather phenomena are weather conditions that are hazardous to human life and property.- Examples Include :Severe weather can occur under a variety of situations, but three characteristics are generally needed: a temperature or moisture boundary, moisture, and , instability in the...


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