Friday, July 20, 2012
When water vapor rises and condenses, it releases the the energy it held while it in its vapor phase. That released energy is the 'latent heat of fusion.' This heat drives the clouds higher and bigger in a chain reaction that builds a crazier and crazier show until suddenly you have electricity and ice. Thunderstorms can make sheets of rain. They can do damage. They can make walls of rolling sound. They move water and energy all over the place. (Or are they themselves just moving water and energy?) Puddles can evaporate and join another thunderstorm tomorrow. In a way, what thunderstorms really do is to make themselves.