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The Weather Outside Is Frightful



The Weather Outside Is Frightful
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 5 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   4.91

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    happening, heated, frightful, mobile, infrared, meteorologists, vapor, violent, ordinary, unstable, banks, cumulonimbus, develop, destructive, earth, radio


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The Weather Outside Is Frightful
By Patti Hutchison
  

1     Right now, there may be as many as 2,000 storms happening around the world. Most are just ordinary thunderstorms. But some storms can turn into severe and dangerous weather.
 
2     All thunderstorms have certain common traits. All are produced from tall cumulonimbus clouds. Three conditions must be met in order for a thunderstorm to develop. First, there must be a lot of water vapor in the air near the ground. As this water vapor condenses, it gives off heat. This keeps the cloud warmer than the air around it. Second, the surface of the earth must be unevenly heated. This will cause the cloud to lift and become tall. Third, the place where the cloud is growing has to be unstable. It must continue to cool as the warm cloud rises. If all of these things happen, a thunderstorm is born.
 
3     Most storms only last about 30 minutes. They are only about 25 km across. However, a storm can grow into a super cell. These storms can create high winds and dangerous lightning. There will be heavy rain. They can last for several hours. Super cells can produce violent winds up to 200 km/hr.

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