Climate and Weather


When do thunderstorms occur?

In contrast, the longest rainless period in the world was from October 1903 to January 1918 at Arica, Chileā€”a period of 14 years. In the United States the longest dry spell was 767 days at Bagdad, California, from October 3, 1912, to November 8, 1914.

In the United States thunderstorms usually occur in the summertime, especially from May through August. Thunderstorms tend to occur in late spring and summer when large amounts of tropical maritime air move across the United States. Storms usually develop when the surface air is heated the most from the sun (2P.M. to 4P.M.). Thunderstorms are relatively rare in the New England area, North Dakota, Montana, and other northern states (latitude 60 degrees), where the air is often too cold. These storms are also rare along the Pacific Ocean because the summers there are too dry for these storms to occur. Florida, the Gulf states, and the southeastern states tend to have the most storms, averaging 70 to 90 annually. The mountainous southwest averages 50 to 70 storms annually. In the world, thunderstorms are most plentiful in the areas between latitude 35 degrees north and 35 degrees south; in these areas there can be as many as 3,200 storms within a 12-hour nighttime period. As many as 1,800 storms can occur at once throughout the world.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Science Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App