A thousand times if not a million times you will hear the word in the weather storm. They are associated with bad weather and rains, but you may not know well what it is or how it is formed. The storm is a meteorological phenomenon related to the atmospheric pressure and, therefore, you have to know a little about its operation to know what it is.

In this article we are going to show you what a storm is, how it is formed and the different types of storm that exist.

What is a storm

Formation of storms

The first thing is to know what this meteorological phenomenon is about. The phenomena associated with the pressures are those that condition that it is more windy or rainy, cold or hot. When we encounter a situation of high pressure, it is said that there is an anticyclone. Anticyclones are usually related to good weather conditions and good weather. There is usually little wind and it is generally sunny.

On the other hand, when the pressure is lower, it is usually accompanied by a cyclone or storm. The fact that the atmospheric pressure is lower means that in that area it has values ​​below all the rest of the surrounding air. Meteorologists collect barometer reading data at different weather stations around the world. With these data, maps can be made where the parts that have more or less pressure are indicated.

The storms occur in the more temperate zones of the middle latitudes. They are formed through movement across the surface in two masses of warm and cold air. Their characteristics are different when these airs meet. The development of a low-pressure system that we call a storm is divided into four parts: early, mature, disintegration, and dissipation. Normally, once a storm occurs, it is capable of lasting on average about seven days.

This is the reason why when the bad weather comes and it is said "a storm is coming", forecasts are usually made for the whole week. The effects will begin to be noticed little by little, it will reach its zenith approximately in the middle of the week and will end up reducing its effects until it disappears completely.

Key features

Characteristics of the storm

The low pressure zone is surrounded by winds that move counterclockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere. Both hurricanes and typhoons are produced by a storm that end up having huge sizes and consequences.

As we have mentioned before, a storm is the meaning of bad weather. When a storm is announced in the television news, it is expected that there will be at least a week with bad weather in which we will have rains, winds and bad weather in general. Among its characteristics we find a high cloudiness. This is because, when the air rises, it cools, condensing and giving rise to humidity. The most immediate effect is heavy precipitation with gusts of wind and electric storms.

Although the population does not know it completely, there are many storms that can be produced by excess heat. The formation of these storms are associated with the polar fronts of the Atlantic.

How it is formed

Squall and anticyclone

We are going to analyze step by step what has to happen in the atmosphere for a storm to take place. It usually begins when a mass of cold and dry air from a polar front moves south. At the same time that this occurs, a tropical air mass, which is usually warm and humid, moves north. This has been the first phase in which a storm begins to occur.

The next phase is the rippling that exists when both air masses meet. This ripple intensifies enormously and the polar air mass heads south. Both air masses carry the front, but the one that goes to the south carries the cold front and the one that goes to the north carries the warm one.

It is in these situations that the most intense rainfall occurs on the cold front. The final phase of storm formation is in which the cold front completely traps the hot one, making it smaller in size. In addition, it completely isolates it from the rest of the tropical air and eliminates all the moisture it brought. By removing the moisture, it also does it in your energy.

It is at that moment where the occluded front forms and where the cyclonic storm takes place. This storm will die out as the polar front establishes itself. The final phase of the storm ends with the same types of clouds appearing on the warm front.

Types of squall


There are several types of storms known as:

  • Thermals. They are those that the rise of air takes place when the temperature is much higher than the environment. So it takes place because of excess heat as it develops. Most commonly, an intense degree of evaporation occurs, followed by condensation. As a consequence of this type of storms, very abundant rainfall occurs.
  • Dynamics This type of storm arises from an air mass rise towards the tropopause (link). This movement is due to a pressure that the cold air masses have and that move. Storms of this type are classified as subpolar phenomena and are barometric depressions in the middle of high pressure areas. Its graphic representation is in the shape of a valley.

Among the effects of storms we have winds reaching 120 kilometers per hour. It causes landslides on roads and makes communication routes difficult with strong winds and rain. Cloudy skies also abound and, the most normal thing is that the storm is accompanied by drops in temperature.

I hope that with this information you can know what a storm is and how it is formed so as not to be left without knowing anything when you read the weather news.

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