Thunderstorms are caused by a disequilibrium in air masses between warm air in the lower atmosphere and cold air in the upper atmosphere. Warm water vapor rises into the cooler upper atmosphere and condenses into clouds. Heat from the lower atmosphere pushes these clouds up into a thunderhead cloud. Updraft from this process, often supports heavy hailstones and high masses of rain. These storms usually happen in the later part of the day, as the heat has risen off the ground all day. This is great because you know when the storm is comming if you notice the cloud! However, some thunderstorms can occur from abnormally cold air unexpectedly entering the upper atmosphere. These storms may occur at any time of the day.
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