Parents and Teachers: Support Ducksters by following us on Ducksters Facebook or Ducksters Twitter.
Ducksters Educational SiteDucksters Educational Site
History Biography Geography Science Games

Science >> Earth Science for Kids

Science for Kids

Dangerous Weather

Some weather can be dangerous. We describe some weather situations below that can cause damage and even hurt you. Whenever you encounter dangerous weather be sure to ask your parents and teachers what to do and follow their instructions.


When moist warm air rises rapidly, a thunderstorm can form. Thunderstorms bring high winds, heavy rain, lightning, and sometimes hail. Thunderstorms appear all around our planet every day. They can form at anytime, but most often form in the afternoon and evening during the warm seasons.

Thunderstorms can be very dangerous. Lightning from thunderstorms kills more people every year than tornadoes.


Lighting is a powerful blast of electricity that can form in thunderstorms and strike the earth with a powerful force. In order for lightning to occur, first high winds within a thunderstorm cause ice and water particles to bump up against each other at high speeds. This causes a charge to build up. The top of the thunderstorm is positively charged, but the bottom of the thunderstorm builds up a negative charge. Once the negative charge builds up to a certain point it will all discharge at once in the form of a lighting bolt. Since objects on the ground are also positively charged the lighting can often strike an object on the ground.

Lighting will often hit the highest point on land. It's also attracted to metal. During a lightning storm be sure to get inside. Don't stand under a tree or hold something metal like a metal umbrella or golf club. Also, be sure to get out of the water. Do not swim in a pool during a thunderstorm.


Hurricanes are huge powerful storms that form out over the ocean. They can be up to 600 miles wide! Hurricanes bring high winds, heavy rain, floods, and a storm surge from the ocean that can cause terrible devastation.

Hurricanes form in the summer and fall, when the water in the ocean is warm. Hurricanes get their energy from the warm ocean water, which must be over 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Hurricanes get their high winds from spinning around the center of the hurricane called the eye. They spin due to the Coriolis force of the planet's spin. The wind is usually calm at the very center, but just outside the center steady winds of 80 to 150 miles per hour can be found.

Hurricanes are found in certain areas of the world. They form in the Atlantic Ocean near the Caribbean Sea, off the coast of Africa, and in the Gulf of Mexico. They also form in the Indian Ocean where they are called Cyclones. In the Pacific Ocean hurricanes are called Typhoons and can threaten much of Southeast Asia.


Tornadoes are violent columns of wind that spin very fast. They extend from the bottom of thunderstorms to the ground and can have winds of up to 300 miles per hour. Tornadoes are smaller than hurricanes and form over land rather than sea. They get their energy from large thunderstorms. Tornadoes that form over water are called waterspouts. Before a tornado touches the ground it's called a funnel cloud.

What to do?

For more on what to do in dangerous weather see the National Weather Service Safety website.


Take a ten question quiz about this page.

Weather Experiment:
Storm Surge - Learn how hurricanes cause the ocean level to rise and flood the land.

Learn more about weather at kids weather.

Earth Science Subjects

Composition of the Earth
Plate Tectonics
Soil Science
The Water Cycle
Geology Glossary and Terms

Nutrient Cycles
Food Chain and Web
Carbon Cycle
Oxygen Cycle
Water Cycle
Nitrogen Cycle
Atmosphere and Weather
Dangerous Weather
Weather Forecasting
Weather Glossary and Terms

World Biomes
Biomes and Ecosystems
Tropical Rainforest
Temperate Forest
Taiga Forest
Coral Reef
Environmental Issues
Land Pollution
Air Pollution
Water Pollution
Ozone Layer
Global Warming

Renewable Energy Sources
Renewable Energy
Biomass Energy
Geothermal Energy
Solar Power
Wave and Tidal Energy
Wind Power

Ocean Waves and Currents
Ocean Tides
Ice Age
Forest Fires
Phases of the Moon

Science >> Earth Science for Kids

About Ducksters Privacy Policy   

Follow us on Ducksters Facebook or Ducksters Twitter

This site is a product of TSI (Technological Solutions, Inc.), Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved. By using this site you agree to the Terms of Use.