How severe thunderstorms form
PORTLAND (WGME) – With summer right around the corner, we’re going to start to see more severe thunderstorms in Maine.
There are four major ingredients to severe thunderstorms.
The first is called CAPE. It stands for Convective Available Potential Energy.
It measures the potential for thunderstorms by focusing on the potential for rising air through convection.
The next thing to look at when forecasting severe weather is wind shear.
This is the change of wind speed with height. This will allow a thunderstorm to progress forward and grow.
If a thunderstorm stays stagnant, it will essentially cut off its energy supply and die out.
If you have potential and wind shear, a lifting mechanism will support the upward movement of air, a necessity for creating clouds and rain.
In our case, a warm front is moving over us right now, and since warm air is less dense than cold air, it will rise.
This is all for not if there's no moisture. In a low relative humidity environment, the air can rise, but there won't enough moisture to form storm clouds.
You can think of it this way; All the water that rains down on us, needs to be brought up there first.