Lifting by Convection
upward moving thermals

In meteorology, convection refers primarily to atmospheric motions in the vertical direction.

As the earth is heated by the sun, bubbles of hot air (called thermals) rise upward from the warm surface. A thermal cools as it rises and becomes diluted as it mixes with the surrounding air, losing some of its buoyancy (its ability to rise).

An air parcel will rise naturally if the air within the parcel is warmer than the surrounding air (like a hot air balloon). Therefore, if cool air is present aloft with warm air at lower levels, thermals can rise to great heights before losing their buoyancy.

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Credits and Acknowledgments for WW2010.
Department of Atmospheric Sciences (DAS) at
the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.