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Extreme weather

Last Updated: Thursday October 03 2002 17:08 GMT

Thunderstorms

Thunderstorm

Thunderstorms are the most common extreme weather and are pretty cool to watch, but they can cause a lot of damage.

They form when warm water evaporates into the air. As the water vapour cools, it falls down "rubbing against" warmer vapour which is still rising.

Nature's special effects

The lightning is created because the friction produced by the "rubbing" unleashes powerful energy as electricity.

The thunder is made because the lightning heats up the air, causing it to expand quickly making the noise.

Electrifying facts

Right now there are roughly 2,000 thunderstorms happening.

A normal bolt of lightning is about 1.5 million volts and would be enough make a tree explode.