STS032-097-006 Collapsed Thunderstorm, Southern Pacific Ocean January 1990
This low-oblique view shows the remains of a collapsed thunderstorm in the southern Pacific Ocean northwest of Easter Island and northeast of Henderson Island. The surrounding arc cloud marks the edge of the cold air surge which developed when the storm collapsed. Thunderstorms develop as warm, moist air rises. As the moist air rises, it turns into rain or ice droplets. As the thunderstorm reaches its mature stage, violent updrafts are noted and precipitation begins. At the onset of precipitation, strong down-drafts develop. Falling precipitation reverses rising air columns by frictional drag, and the storm eventually begins to dissipate or collapse. At times around the arc cloud of the collapsing thunderstorm, new thunderstorms may begin to form.

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