Orographic thunderstorms

Orographic thunderstorms are very closely related to heat thunderstorms.

Other than the normal heat thunderstorms, orographic thunderstorms are also fueled by thermic updrafts at the slopes of hills and mountains. This type of thunderstorm is also directly connected to orographic features (mountains and hills), and form only there. Therefore, these thunderstorms do not occur in the lowland. The intensity is more or less the same as normal heat thunderstorms. If the weather forecast says "some heat thunderstorms over the mountains in the afternoon", always orographic thunderstorms are meant.

Under certain circumstances supercells can form in the Alps which move along the main ridge of the Alps for long distance and exist for quite a long time. Those supercells are, quite obviously, hard to chase, but the structure is the same as the supercells that are located in the lowland. The side effects of alpine supercells are, of course, also related to the local orography. Especially due to the large amounts of precipitation, alpine disasters (landslides, mudflows, rockfall, etc.)

For printable version, see the attachment.

© M.I.L.K. 2014


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