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Hurricanes: Science and Society
Illustration of convection.
Convection in the atmosphere. When an air parcel is warmer than its environment, it will rise. Rising air always cools, but as long as the rising air parcel cools slowly enough that it continues to be warmer than its surrounding environment, it will continue to rise, just like a hot air balloon. Free convection can lead to (or contribute to) cloud and thunderstorm development.
Copyright Richard Yablonsky, URI/GSO.