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Thunderstorms above the Sierra Nevada
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
On June 14, 2004, a series of thunderstorms swept over the southern Sierra Nevada. Storms during the summer are frequent in the area. Warm air rises up the flanks of the mountains, cooling as it gains altitude. Moisture in the air then condenses, creating clouds and rainfall.
This image was acquired by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite Program (GOES)-West satellite on June 14, 2004, at 4:00 PDT. The animations include data from dawn until dusk.