I’m going to do something a little different with today’s blog. One of my readers asked me to explain some of the more “common” sounds associated with inclement weather. I love helping you guys better understand all the moving parts of the weather, so that’s what we’re going to do today.

We will use the observed weather.us database found this to get our sound.

The gun is loaded


  • Low LCL and LFC – instability doesn’t have to go far to get pulled into the cloud and start growing.
  • Inversion (cap) – allows instability to form underneath the cap so that when it ruptures or corrodes, stronger, discrete cells are more likely to occur.
  • Dry overhead air – Dry air carried by storms leads to evaporation. Evaporative cooling enhances the risk of hail.
  • Short, “fat” CAPE – any parcels that are growing will be significantly warmer than the environment that allows for strong updates.

The sound of a Loaded Gun is often indicative of an atmosphere built to withstand significant weather extremes. Harmful winds and hail are a thing of the past. Tornadoes can also occur if shear supports rotation.

Wet Microburst


  • The lapse rate is lower than LCL.
  • Significant layer of dry air in between floors – causing evaporative cooling and increasing density. The air is suddenly denser then rises to the surface along with heavy rain creating strong winds. **Note: look at wind speed in dry air layer. These are the speeds that would be (approximately) possible when pulled to the surface. Anything larger than 50 or 60 kts is a threat from the wind.
  • High Precipitation Water Value – resulting in heavy rain and evaporative cooling in the dry layer as it passes. Promotes the threat of wind.

The Wet Microburst sound is very popular in environments where echo is lacking.

“V inverse” / Micropoint dry


  • A layer of very dry air at the surface
  • High humidity – creates an inverted V-shape of the sound.
  • Rain falls from above into dry air, resulting in evaporative cooling. Then, colder, denser air rises to the surface, creating a threat from the wind.

This is a common sound in western desert environments. This type of medium is also capable of starting fires due to lightning strikes and then rapidly spreading them as air spills over the surface.

Hope you learned something new today!

If anyone has any requests for future explanatory blogs, feel free to leave me a comment here or tweet it to me on Twitter.


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