Why is the sky dull when a storm is coming on?

The light during the daytime on Earth is almost all brought by the Sun. The stars are always shining, of course, as they do all the time in the vast regions of space, but they are so far away that the light that all of them produce together counts for almost nothing compared to the light of the Sun. The same could be said for the light coming from the Moon, as it does not count for anything when it is sometimes up during the day. We may say that the light of the day is due to two factors, one is the direct sunlight, while the other is the skylight, which is the sunlight reflected from the sky, or from another perspective, in the air.

When a storm is brewing and starts traveling forward or sideways, clouds would gather, and these clouds are so thick and dense that they are able to cut off the light of the sky, hence the reason why the sky is dull during a rainstorm. If we went up in a hot air balloon above the clouds, we would find ourselves looking at a burst of brilliant sunshine, even if it is almost as dark as night to the people of the Earth below because of the storm.

How do storms form?

Storms often form when a low-pressure area builds up in a location where it is surrounded by high pressure. These two types of pressure often oppose each other, and when the low-pressure area cannot escape from the high-pressure area, it will begin to swirl around violently and eventually forms storm clouds. These storm clouds vary in type, but the most common one is the cumulonimbus, which is a thick vertical cloud that is formed when water vapor goes upward with the help of strong air currents. Smaller storms can also form when little areas of low pressure rise from the ground, although they are rather called whirlwinds or dust devils instead of a full-on storm.

There are many types of storms as well, but the most common ones are the thunderstorm, the blizzard, the tropical cyclone, and the tornado. The thunderstorm is the type that can generate thunder and lightning, and sometimes it wouldn’t even have rain. This type of storm generally occurs in tropical rainforests, where there is a high level of humidity and instability in the atmosphere.

Blizzards are the ones that form on the colder regions of the Earth, as they are often accompanied by snow, although they are not your typical snowstorm since it also has powerful winds that are capable of toppling down trees. Some blizzards have struck the United States in the past, but the current temperature in the country prevents powerful blizzards from forming.

Tropical cyclones are storms that are formed in the ocean, which is the reason why it would usually have rain. As its name suggests, tropical cyclones are found in tropical countries where there is high humidity. There are varying intensities when it comes to tropical cyclones, and the levels of intensity have names, and these are tropical depression, tropical storm, typhoon, and hurricane.

The tornado is arguably the strongest and most dangerous storm out of the four, as it often has violent and destructive winds that can destroy houses and even small buildings or infrastructure. Its appearance also looks menacing as well, as it looks like a swirling vortex that can eat up almost anything that it touches. The United States is the country that is most affected by tornadoes, and because of how frequent these violent storms form in certain states, particularly in South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, that region is now nicknamed “Tornado Alley.”