ES2004  Observe an animation of a thunderstorm.
  !   Click the image to see the animation.
NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center

Warm, moist air rising over central Florida on August 2, 1995 resulted in a series of large thunderstorm cells. The GOES 9 weather satellite, on orbit approximately 35,800 km (22,300 miles) above Earth recorded the development of these storms from dawn to dusk.

After a clear morning, warm unstable air rose, generating light cloud cover over land. Intense updrafts formed several cumulonimbus clouds. Examine the images carefully to see the effect of the downdrafts as each thunderstorm cell matured.