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Types of Thunderstorms
single cell, multicell clusters, multicell lines and supercells

The array of thunderstorms within the spectrum reflects our current scientific understanding. Thus, while the spectrum is very useful, it is neither perfect nor a final solution. Nevertheless, arrangement of storms within the spectrum is dependent on updraft strength, here represented by different colors; relative frequencies of these updraft strength categories, as indicated by differing lengths on the upper bar graph; and relative threats of the updraft categories, here represented by the lengths on the bottom bar graph.

[Image: thunderstorm spectrum (33K)] Thus, while a "strong" updraft is less common than a "weak" updraft, the relative threat to life and property is greater with the "strong" updraft storm. Similarly, "intense" updraft storms are quite rare but inflict a disproportionate amount of damage and personal injury.

Terms for using data resources. CD-ROM available.
Credits and Acknowledgments for WW2010.
Department of Atmospheric Sciences (DAS) at
the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.