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John Wheeler, WDAY, Published August 07 2013

Weather Talk: Long-term cool spell changes dynamics of summer weather

The long-term cool spell has changed several dynamics of our summer weather. During cooler summer weather, thunderstorms are more likely in the late afternoon when the heat from the sun is strongest. This additional heat gives extra lift to thermal currents, which rise into the upper atmosphere where the moisture cools and condenses into clouds and rain.

When summer weather is hot, afternoon thermals are often inhibited by air aloft, which is also warm. If hot and humid weather returns this summer, any storms that form will more likely do so late at night when nocturnal air currents are still capable of causing the unstable and moisture-laden humid air to rise, cool and condense into the night air.

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