Dry thunderstorm

A dry thunderstorm is a thunderstorm that produces thunder and lightning, but most or all of its precipitation evaporates before reaching the ground.


Where dry thunderstorms occur

Dry thunderstorms generally occur in deserts or places where atmospheric water vapor is low. Because dry air tends to absorb liquid water, causing it to change phase into vapor, it is absorbed before reaching the ground. They are common during the summer months across much of western North America.


Dust storms

Strong winds often develop around dry thunderstorms as the evaporating precipitation causes excessive cooling of the air beneath the storm. This cool air then descends rapidly and fans out upon impacting the ground, an event often described as a dry microburst. As the gusty winds expand outward from the storm, dry soil and sand are often picked up by the strong winds, creating dust and sand storms known as haboobs.


In areas where trees or other vegetation are present, the lightning will cause the trees to catch fire and there is little or no rain to stop the fire. Storm winds fan the fire, causing it to spread more quickly.

See also


  • Ferguson, Sue A., Steven J. McKay, Miriam L. Rorig & Paul Werth. May 2007. "Model-Generated Predictions of Dry Thunderstorm Potential".Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology. Volume 46, p 605-614.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • dry thunderstorm — /draɪ ˈθʌndəstɔm/ (say druy thunduhstawm) noun a thunderstorm in which the rain hits a layer of very dry air causing it to evaporate before it reaches the ground, but nevertheless producing lightning that can be a major cause of bushfires …   Australian English dictionary

  • As useful as a dry thunderstorm — absolutely useless …   Dictionary of Australian slang

  • as useful as a dry thunderstorm — Australian Slang absolutely useless …   English dialects glossary

  • Dry lightning — is a term which is used to refer to lightning strikes occurring without significant precipitation. The term is a technical misnomer since lightning is obviously not wet in any instance, and also because the thunderstorms which sometimes cause it… …   Wikipedia

  • thunderstorm — /thun deuhr stawrm /, n. a transient storm of lightning and thunder, usually with rain and gusty winds, sometimes with hail or snow, produced by cumulonimbus clouds. Also called electrical storm. [1645 55; THUNDER + STORM] * * * Violent, short… …   Universalium

  • dry lightning — /draɪ ˈlaɪtnɪŋ/ (say druy luytning) noun lightning that is not accompanied by rain and so is more likely to initiate a bushfire. See dry thunderstorm …   Australian English dictionary

  • Thunderstorm — Electrical storm redirects here. For other uses, see Electrical storm (disambiguation). A typical thunderstorm A thunderstorm, also known as an electrical storm, a lightning storm, thundershower or simply a storm is a form of weather… …   Wikipedia

  • Dry season — For the 2006 Chadian film, see Daratt. Part of the Nature series on Weather   Calendar seasons Spring  …   Wikipedia

  • Summer 2008 California wildfires — Infobox wildfire title= 2008 California wildfires caption= The wildfires as seen from space. location= California cost= date= June 6, 2008 ongoing source= Lightning, human caused acres= convert|2589930|acre|km2|0… …   Wikipedia

  • Salt Lake County, Utah — Infobox U.S. County county = Salt Lake County state = Utah seal seallink map size = 150 founded year = 1852 seat wl = Salt Lake City largest city wl = Salt Lake City area total sq mi = 808 area total km2 = 2092 area land sq mi = 737 area land km2 …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.