While these types of disasters generally occur within particular times of year, due to the prevailing climate, they are caused by very particular atmospheric conditions. These types of disasters are best looked at together, due to substantial overlap. Hurricanes specifically form over the ocean, and as such primarily affect coastal regions. Tornadoes also have a fairly limited range of areas where they regularly form. Thunderstorms occur much more broadly.
Cyclones are perhaps the largest and most damaging disasters on the planet, hitting most warm coastal regions. These intense storms, which form due to shifting atmospheric pressure systems, can affect hundreds of miles. The damage caused by the winds and flooding can exceed several billion dollars, and the loss of life in cyclones can be immense. Learn more about what causes hurricanes, where they tend to occur, and how they've affected us in the past.
A tornado is born from the conflicting winds of a thunderstorm. When the wind conditions are right, they can produce a vortex that destroys and scatters the things in its path. These iconic storms tend to happen in very specific locales, such as the infamous Tornado Alley of the United States.
Thunder and Lightning
Thunder and lightning are so ubiquitous that they prominently feature in many myths and stories around the world. Lightning strikes every inhabited place on Earth, and although it is less devastating in scope than other weather disasters it can still be incredibly deadly.
Residents of warmer climates may never see a blizzard, but these snowstorms can wreak havoc. Notwithstanding the dangers of the cold itself, blizzards can cause major power outages, can cave in buildings and knock down trees, and they can halt important emergency services.