Posted: March 24th, 2023

What Regions Experience the Most Intense Thunderstorms on Earth?

Thunderstorms bring much-needed rain and heat, but they also bring tornadoes and winds that are destructive. According to NASA, the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite identified the regions that have the most intense thunderstorms. The most intense occur in the Andes Mountains of Argentina, where humid and warm air collides with the dry and cool air. These same types of storms occur in the Rockies in the United States. Ironically, there are also powerful storms in the semi-arid areas; for instance, in the Sahara, parts of India, and northern Australia. In contrast, there are rainy regions that experience frequent storms that are not powerful, including Indonesia, Southeast Asia, and the Amazon basin. However, some rainy regions experience intense thunderstorms; for instance, Central Africa, North Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

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Global thunderstorm data given by TRMM from 1998-2004 have been examined by the researchers to determine the region’s storm concentration. The intensity is measured using different TRMM instruments according to the radar height, flashlight rate, and temperature. The research confirmed that regions with very heavy rainfall, especially the tropical oceans and on mountain slopes experience powerful storms just like areas with extreme thunderstorms. In fact, thunderstorms tend to occur on land rather than in the oceans. Instruments used by TRMM were not available in many places and the use of satellite to get results was successful. For nine years, the TRMM has been supplying equipment to measure regional storms on the earth. In essence, the study done by TRMM has played a great role in quantifying the different intensities and types of thunderstorms occurring in different climate regions on Earth.


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