A thunderstorm builds over the Karoo in South Africa.
Why is thunder so loud? It's because the amount of electrical energy that flows from the cloud to the ground is so enormous.
There are many reasons to be careful when there's a big storm. But there are also ways you can protect yourself to avoid lightning.
Hokusai’s great wave, woodcut, c.1829-33.
Recreating freak waves can tell us a lot about the nature of the sea.
Icy hailstones can do major damage, depending where they land.
AP Photo/Nati Harnik
The future climate that scientists predict for the middle of the United States is one that will foster more hail events with bigger hailstones.
Farm near Seven Springs, North Carolina, surrounded by water on Oct. 25, 1999, nearly six weeks after Hurricane Floyd.
AP Photo/Karen Tam
Hurricanes in the southern US have caused widespread damage inland in recent decades, mainly through river flooding. But evacuations and stormproofing focus almost entirely on keeping people safe on the coasts.
Technology can only go so far in making sense of our vast and intricate atmosphere.
Snow on the ground after a winter storm.
NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response
Why can't meteorologists call the weather correctly every time? Blame the battle of the weather models.
Extreme weather led to starfish mass strandings along beaches in Kent and East Yorkshire.
The storm intensified rapidly off the US east coast.
The US was hit by a 'bomb cyclone' last week, bringing icy cold and driving snow. These storms develop very rapidly, forming outside the tropics, typically on continental east coasts in winter.
Gerard Butler at the US premiere of Geostorm.
Geostorm is the newest addition to the Hollywood climate doom canon. It is terrible, which is why you should think about this genre but under no circumstances actually watch this movie.
A storm damaged car abandoned on a roundabout in Bracknell, Berkshire.
At the time, their existence was unknown.
A tornado in the town of Sonnac, France, in September, 2015.
European tornadoes may not come along as often as their US counterparts but they are a real threat and need to be taken seriously.
Hurricane Irma descends on the Caribbean islands.
NOAA National Weather Service National Hurricane Center/Handout via Reuters
Saturated media coverage of hurricanes like Harvey and Irma can make it seem like disasters happen all the time. Is the frequency of billion-dollar disasters really rising?
When this is home, bad weather can make a bad situation much worse.
Extreme weather is hard enough for those with a home. But imagine losing everything you own in a storm - that's the experience of many homeless people forced to live out in the open during wild weather.
Houston’s Interstate Highway 45 was totally submerged in the deluge.
The unpredictability of hurricanes makes it hard to say for sure whether climate change is making them worse. But we do know that sea-level rise and increased evaporation will worsen the impacts.
A taste of things to come? Storm damage on Sydney’s northern beaches in 2016.
The ocean warming that might increase the threat of a catastrophic storm could also create the conditions for a natural defensive barrier.
All schools were closed throughout south-east Queensland due to severe rain.
Bad weather conditions often force schools to make unplanned closures.
Gareth Fuller / PA
We're more likely to remember a storm with a human face – and will prepare for it.
Surf’s up: September storms brought waves, wind and flooding to South Australia.
AAP Image/David Mariuz
2016 was Australia's fourth warmest year on record, capping off the hottest decade.
A large thunderstorm rolls over Sydney in 2015.
AAP Image/Newzulu/Haig Gilchrist
Severe storms bring a complex mixture of weather conditions, often in a very localised area. This unpredictability can make them very damaging, and very hard to study too.