Cumulus stage : it's charecterized by countinous up drafts . in this stage a lifting action initiates the vertical movement of air .
as air rises and cools to it's dewpoint water vapor condenses into small water drroplets or ice crystals . if sufficient moisture is present the water vapor latent heat of condensation which released during condensation procers wil provides energy for the continued vertical growth of the cloud . Because of strong updrafts precipitation usually does not fall . instead the water drops or ice crystals rise and fall within the cloud and growing larger with each cycle also may creates hail . in cumulus stage of thunderstorm updrafts as fast as 3000 f.p.m may begin near the surface and extend well above the cloud top .
Mature stage : Thunderstorms reach the greatest intensity during the mature stage. as the drops in the cloud grow too large to be supported by the updrafts precipitation begins to falls to the surface . this creates a downward motion in the surrounding air and shows beginning of the mature stage . downdraft may reach velocity of 2500 f.p.m . the down-rushing air spreads outward at surface producing a sharp drop in temperature a rise in pressure , strong gusty wind and wind shear
conditions . (wind shear is a sudden drastic shift in wind speed and/or direction at vertical or horizental plane . ) as the thunderstorm advances a rolling , turbulent , circular-shaped cloud may form at the lower leading age of the cloud which called the rolling cloud .
Dissipating stage : unlike cumulus stage a dissipating thunderstorm is characterized by predominant down drafts . as the mature stage progresses more and more air aloft is disturbed by the falling drops . eventually the downdrafts begin to spread out within the cell taking the place of weakening updrafts . Because upward movement is necessary for condensation and release of the latent heat energy the entire thunderstorm begins to weaken . during this stage the upper level winds often blow the top of cloud downwind , creating the familiar anvil shape . how ever the anvile does not necessarily signal the storm's dissipation .
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