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Weather Works: The ingredients that aid in severe weather

Meteorologist Taylor Stephenson highlights the ingredients that go into producing severe weather on this week's episode of Weather Works.

Severe weather doesn't just pop up randomly... specific ingredients have to be in place for storms to successfully develop.

Four main factors play into severe weather scenarios: available instability, lift, wind shear, and moisture content.

First, let's talk about instability. Instability is just a big word that means energy. Storms need energy, usually in the form of heat, to get going.

Lift works hand in hand with instability. Once the energy is there, the lifting mechanism forces a parcel upward to form clouds, and potentially, severe storms.

Wind shear refers to winds blowing in different directions at different levels in the atmosphere. If wind shear is present, the storms are more likely to rotate, which could create tornadoes.

Lastly, there needs to be enough moisture to actually produce clouds and wet weather. If the atmosphere is lacking in moisture, severe weather is less likely to happen.

In general, dewpoint temperatures need to be 55 degrees or higher for severe weather to occur.

Those are the main ingredients needed to see severe weather.

That's how your weather works!


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