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Study delivers new knowledge about what causes thunderstorms and cloud bursts

Thunderstorms often provoke violent cloud bursts that can result in devastating flooding. But what actually spawns thunderstorms and cloud bursts? This question has spurred a new study by researchers at the University of Copenhagen—with surprising results.

Thunderstorms are weather disturbances characterized by concentrations of thunder, lightning and fierce winds. When they accumulate in clusters, these storms are often accompanied by violent cloud bursts and flooding, which can devastate the areas affected.

Denmark is no stranger to this phenomenon. In 2011, large parts of Copenhagen were submerged by deluges that lead to roughly 6 billion kroner in damages reported to insurance companies.

In a new study, researchers from the University of Copenhagen shed light on one particular mechanism that has the potential to spawn powerful thunderstorms and cloud bursts:

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