WHY OUR CITIES ARE CHANGING THE WEATHER09:37
Urban areas are more likely to be hit by frequent thunderstorms than rural areas of the same size, according to a new study.
Researchers at Northern Illinois University studied radar data to pinpoint where thunderstorm initiations occurred across the southeast US between 1997 and 2013.
They found that urban areas such as Atlanta are five per cent more likely to be hit by thunderstorms, on a given day, than rural areas of the same size.
Storms were more likely to hit these urbanised areas during warmer months, in July and August, in the late afternoon and early evening. And the study found more 'births' occurred during the week than at weekends.
The scientists behind the work say that increased pollution in urban areas may be responsible to the increased frequency of storms.
Urban areas also create 'heat islands' that can lead to storm formation.
Concentrations of buildings also increase temperatures causing low pressures to form above cities, compared to high pressures in rural areas.
This causes a so-called 'low-level atmospheric convergence', which forces air up into thunderstorms.
Buildings may also change the flow and direction of winds, which in turn changes pressure levels and affects the upward movement of air.
Read more: dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2966532