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Question
The energy released from condensation in thunderstorms can be very large. Calculate the energy released into the atmosphere for a small storm of radius 1 km, assuming that 1.0 cm of rain is precipitated uniformly over this area.

$7.1 \times 10^{13} \textrm{ J}$

This amount of energy is comparable to that release during the explosion of a small atomic bomb. The reason the energy from this storm will not create damage in the way the energy from the atomic bomb would is that energy in the two scenarios are released over very different time periods. The power, in other words, is very different. The atomic bomb releases the energy almost instantly, and it's this enormous power that creates damage.

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