Before we dive into learning about storm types, let’s discuss people types in regards to storms.  There are two types of people: people who love thunderstorms and people who don’t.  We’ll assume you’re part of the former since you’re browsing this website.  But do you know “why” you love thunderstorms?  There is a science to it, as there is with everything.

Storm TypesThunderstorms invoke our entire sensory system.  For example, many people enjoy the smell of rain and science suggests that the smell of rain is something our ancestors have passed on to us because it was a skill they needed for their survival.

But what makes rain smell so nice?  There are several scents associated with rain that most people find pleasing.  One of these scents is called “petrichor,” and it lingers when rain falls after a prolonged dry spell and is derived from a pair of chemical reactions.  Some plants secrete oils during dry periods and, when it rains, these oils are released into the air.  The second reaction that creates petrichor occurs when chemicals produced by soil-dwelling bacteria known as “actinomycetes” are released.  These aromatic compounds combine to create the pleasant petrichor scent when rain hits the ground!

Amazing, right?  You can easily tell why this would be a needed survival skill in the early days of mankind.  Finding water meant life or death.  But, science also suggests that many of our senses are enticed by elements of severe weather and that our feelings from these events are actually embedded in our very DNA, it’s “who we are”.

We can feel the wind, hear thunder, see lightning – thunderstorms invoke our entire sensory system and captivates our imaginations.  So are you a person who loves thunderstorms, or not?  That too is likely passed on to us from our ancestors.  Some early humans liked thunderstorms as they were needed for their survival.  Others feared them.

But, while our ancestors developed knowledge of their senses from thunderstorms, they lacked the understanding of the science behind thunderstorms.  If you’re a person who loves thunderstorms, you were probably mystified by them as a child, perhaps they even terrified you, but there was always that bit of “mystery” which captivated your imagination.  Now it’s time to put the understanding of science behind your captivated imagination and learn what a thunderstorm is, and what types of thunderstorms there are.