Cyclones and Thunderstorms

Properties of Air


It is primarily due to the properties of air that formation of wind, storms and cyclones takes place. Have a look at the figure below to know about the different properties of air that causes these effects.

Wind currents are generated due to uneven heating on the earth

Uneven heating of earth from the equator to the poles

The region close to the equator receives maximum heat from the sun. The air in these regions gets warmer and rises. This warm air rises and the cold air from the North and South Pole move towards the equator. The warm air is replaced by these cold air setting up circulation of wind from poles to equator. Change in direction of wind is caused by rotation of the earth.


Uneven heating of land and water

In summer, air over the land gets warmer than air over the oceans. This makes the winds to flow from ocean to the land.

In India, these winds are known as monsoon winds. The monsoon winds carry water and bring rain.



  • Hot humid tropical areas.
  • The winds carrying water droplets move upwards.
  • The movement of falling water and the rising wind creates lightning and sound. This is known as thunderstorm.

How thunderstorms become cyclones

  • When water vapor transforms into rain, heat is released. This heat further warms the air which rises up creating lowering pressure in the region.
  • This leads to chain of events creating low pressure region with high speed winds revolving around it.
  • These are known as cyclones.


Destruction caused by cyclones

  • Sea water enters coastal area causing loss of life and property.
  • This reduces fertility of soil.

Advanced Technology

With help of satellites and radars, cyclone warning can be circulated in advance. A cyclone alert or cyclone watch is issued 48 hours in advance of any expected storm.

To learn more about thunderstorms and cyclones, download Byju’s the Learning App.

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