Casey Bralla on 17 Jul 2017 13:28:14 -0700

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[PLUG] Waaaaay Off Topic: Thunderstorm Movement

So here's a question I've often wondered about, and was hoping someone in this 
learned group could help me understand.

When a thunderstorm moves across the landscape, is it like a wave moving on 
the ocean, or a inner tuber floating on a river?  In other words, is it the 
same moving air mass dumping rain as it moves, or is a storm an atmospheric 
wave phenomenon that moves into new air all the time?

I've always assumed a moving storm is the same rainy air mass that moves.  
However, if it is the same air, why doesn't the storm dissipate VERY quickly 
as it dumps all the moisture as heavy rain and then dries out.  (It seems like 
there is a __LOT__ of moisture that precipitates out of a thunderstorm.   How 
does the air hold all that much moisture? [Think: Hurricanes])

However, if a thunderstorm is like a wave, then it always has "fresh" moist 
air to harvest to precipitate as rain, so it can continue for a long time.   A 
wave normally travels faster than the medium it is traveling in, so I would 
think that if a storm is a wave, then storms would move faster than the 
prevailing winds.   From what I can tell, this doesn't happen; actually 
storms, seem to move __SLOWER__ than I would expect the upper atmospheric 
winds to be.

So I'm stumped.  Anybody know the answer?


Casey Bralla
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