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Episode 2018-14 - Thunderstorms Part 3

Hello and welcome to the next edition of the Mike Wills Podcast! This is the Dog Days of Podcasting edition for August 14th 2018 where I am taking you through some of the basics of weather, storms, and radar.


  • Thunderstorm Types
    • Ordinary or Single Cell Storm
      • This type of storm forms when there is a weak shear in the atmosphere.
      • It usually has a short life, generally 30-45 minutes
      • The downdraft will form within 15-20 minutes after the cell is initiated
      • It might have some small hail, usually not severe
      • Some gusty winds, usually not severe
    • Pulse Storm
      • A pulse storm is usually not strong but could produce some short-term severe weather. It is called a pulse storm because a cell will generate, quickly fade, then generate a new short burst.
      • Again, they have a short life of around 30-45 minutes
      • Usually not severe, but in the right environment, it could create small to moderate sized hail, downburst winds of less than 70mph, and maybe even a weak tornado.
      • If there is damage, it's usually isolated to a small area.
      • The most common type of storm consisting of a group of ordinary cells.
      • These can last for several hours.
      • There are several single cells moving as a single unit
      • Each of the cells could be in different stages of the of the life cycle.
      • Occasionally, there could a supercell within the cluster.
      • The new updrafts in the cluster form in the area of persistent lifting where the air converges in areas like a cold or warm front, a dry line, an outflow boundary from another nearby storm, or higher terrain features than their surroundings.
      • The cells will develop in the lifting zone and move with the mid and upper-level winds as is matures and dissipates. A typical scenario is in spring or summer when the new cells build on the west or southwest edge of the cluster and dissipate as they move east. Each cell lasts 20-30 minutes and the entire cluster lasts an hour or more.
      • Given the right conditions the cells can become severe with brief small to moderate hail, downburst winds, weak tornadoes, and heavy rainfall in a short time.
    • Multicellular Line Storm or Squall Line
      • This is a long line of storms with a continuous, well-developed gust front along the leading line.
      • This is frequently called a squall line.
      • These storms are usually oriented north-south or northeast-southeast and moves in an easterly direction.
      • Individual cell updrafts or downdrafts can become severe resulting in large hail, damaging outflow (typically called straight-line winds)
      • Given the right conditions you can get strong downburst winds, heavy rain, moderate sized hail, and occasionally a tornado.
      • Here is the storm from tonight that fizzled out. Here is the storm from tonight that fizzled out.
      • Here is another squall line from a few days ago. Here is another squall line from a few days ago.
    • Then there is the Supercell Storm
      • But you'll have to learn about this tomorrow.

Link/Picture of the Show

None today

Wrap Up

Thank you for listening and remember to always watch the clouds and be weather aware.

Contact Information

podcast/ddop/public/episode_201814.txt · Last modified: 2018/11/22 14:30 (external edit)