any disturbed state of an astronomical body's atmosphere
(Redirected from Thunderstorms)

A storm (from Proto-Germanic *sturmaz "noise, tumult") is a disturbed state of an atmosphere, especially those affecting planetary or stellar surfaces, and strongly implying severe and dangerous weather. The weather phenomena is often used as a metaphor in referring to emotional or spiritual states in individuals or societies.

For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up. ~ Book of Hosea 8:7


Calm and serene he drives the furious blast;
And, pleas'd th' Almighty's orders to perform,
Rides in the whirlwind, and directs the storm. ~ Joseph Addison
Bonaventura Peeters: Storm (1650)
  • So when an angel by divine command
    With rising tempests shakes a guilty land
    Such as of late o'er pale Britannia passed,
    Calm and serene he drives the furious blast;
    And, pleas'd th' Almighty's orders to perform,
    Rides in the whirlwind, and directs the storm.
    • Joseph Addison, The Campaign (1704); an alteration of these lines occurs in Alexander Pope's satire The Dunciad, Book III, line 264, where he describes a contemporary theatre manager as an "Angel of Dulness":
Immortal Rich! how calm he sits at ease,
Midst snows of paper, and fierce hail of pease;
And proud his mistress' order to perform,
Rides in the whirlwind and directs the storm.
  • HURRICANE, n. An atmospheric demonstration once very common but now generally abandoned for the tornado and cyclone. The hurricane is still in popular use in the West Indies and is preferred by certain old-fashioned sea-captains. It is also used in the construction of the upper decks of steamboats, but generally speaking, the hurricane's usefulness has outlasted it.
    • Ambrose Bierce, The Cynic's Dictionary (1906); republished as The Devil's Dictionary (1911).
  • We are not this story's author, who fills time and eternity with his purpose. Yet his purpose is achieved in our duty; and our duty is fulfilled in service to one another. Never tiring, never yielding, never finishing, we renew that purpose today: to make our country more just and generous; to affirm the dignity of our lives and every life. This work continues. This story goes on. And an angel still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm.
  • It is better to meet danger than to wait for it. He that is on a lee shore, and foresees a hurricane, stands out to sea and encounters a storm, to avoid a shipwreck.
  • There is a great deal of unmapped country within us which would have to be taken into account in an explanation of our gusts and storms.
  • Tempests occasionally shake our dwellings and dissipate our commerce; but they scourge before them the lazy elements, which without them would stagnate into pestilence.
    • Thomas Erskine, speech for the defendant in Rex v. John Stockdale (9 December 1798), in Speeches of Lord Erskine While at the Bar, edited by James Lambert High (Chicago: Callaghan and Cockcroft, 1871), Vol. II, p. 69.
  • As noted scientist Richard Feynman once explained, "the earth is negative, and the potential in the air is positive." That tension is maintained by thunderstorms, which are happening at some point in the world at any given time. But that tension varies throughout the planet. On a day without a cloud in the sky, APG levels can get up to 100 volts per meter, the metric used to measure the strength of an electric field. However, in a thunderstorm those levels can rise up to 10 kilovolts per meter, exponentially larger.
  • For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.
  • I know there is a God — I see the storm coming and I see his hand in it — if he has a place then I am ready — we see the hand.
  • The thunderstorm is a constant phenomenon, raging alternately over some part of the world or the other. Can a single man or creature escape death if all that charge of lightning strikes the earth?
    • Kalki Krishnamurthy, in "Sivakozhundu of Tiruvazhundur" as translated in Kalki : Selected Stories (1999).
  • We know the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong. Do you not think an angel rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm?
  • Seventy-three men sailed in, from the San Francisco Bay,
    Rolled off of their ship and here's what they had to say.
    "We're calling everyone to ride along, to another shore.
    Where we can laugh our lives away and be free once more."
    But no one heard them calling, no one came at all,
    'Cause they were too busy watching those old raindrops fall.
    As a storm was blowing, out on the peaceful sea,
    Seventy-three men sailing off to history.
  • As far as I could ken thy chalky cliffs,
    When from thy shore the tempest beat us back,
    I stood upon the hatches in the storm.
  • I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds
    Have riv'd the knotty oaks, and I have seen
    The ambitious ocean swell and rage and foam,
    To be exalted with the threat'ning clouds
    But never till to-night, never till now,
    Did I go through a tempest dropping fire.
  • Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
    You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
    Till you have drench'd our steeples.
  • Merciful Heaven,
    Thou rather with thy sharp and sulphurous bolt
    Split'st the unwedgeable and gnarled oak
    Than the soft myrtle.
  • Swift as a shadow, short as any dream;
    Brief as the lightning in the collied night,
    That in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,
    And ere a man hath power to say "Behold"
    The jaws of darkness do devour it up.
  • His rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last,
    For violent fires soon burn out themselves;
    Small showers last long, but sudden storms are short.
  • When clouds appear, wise men put on their cloaks;
    When great leaves fall, then winter is at hand;
    When the sun sets, who doth not look for night?
    Untimely storms make men expect a dearth.
  • At first, heard solemn o'er the verge of Heaven,
    The Tempest growls; but as it nearer comes,
    And rolls its awful burden on the wind,
    The Lightnings flash a larger curve, and more
    The Noise astounds; till overhead a sheet
    Of livid flame discloses wide, then shuts,
    And opens wider; shuts and opens still
    Expansive, wrapping ether in a blaze.
    Follows the loosen'd aggravated Roar,
    Enlarging, deepening, mingling, peal on peal,
    Crush'd, horrible, convulsing Heaven and Earth.
  • If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you'll never enjoy the sunshine.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 753-54.
  • I have heard a greater storm in a boiling pot.
    • Atheneaus, Deipnosophistæ, VIII, 19. Dorian, a flutist, ridiculing Timotheos, a zither player, who imitated a storm at sea.
  • The earth is rocking, the skies are riven—
    Jove in a passion, in god-like fashion,
    Is breaking the crystal urns of heaven.
  • Excitabat enim fluctus in simpulo.
    • He used to raise a storm in a teapot.
    • Cicero, De Legibus, III. 16. Erasmus, Adagia Occulta, p. 548. (Ed. 1670). Bernard Bayle—Storm in a Teacup. Comedietta performed March 20, 1854, Princess Theatre, London.
  • Bursts as a wave that from the clouds impends,
    And swell'd with tempests on the ship descends;
    White are the decks with foam; the winds aloud
    Howl o'er the masts, and sing through every shroud:
    Pale, trembling, tir'd, the sailors freeze with fears;
    And instant death on every wave appears.
    • Homer, The Iliad, Book XV, line 752. Pope's translation.
  • Roads are wet where'er one wendeth,
    And with rain the thistle bendeth,
    And the brook cries like a child!
    Not a rainbow shines to cheer us;
    Ah! the sun comes never near us,
    And the heavens look dark and wild.
  • C'est une tempête dans un verre d'eau.
  • The winds grow high;
    Impending tempests charge the sky;
    The lightning flies, the thunder roars;
    And big waves lash the frightened shores.
  • Lightnings, that show the vast and foaming deep,
    The rending thunders, as they onward roll,
    The loud, loud winds, that o'er the billows sweep—
    Shake the firm nerve, appal the bravest soul!
  • Der Sturm ist Meister; Wind und Welle spielen
    Ball mit dem Menschen.
    • The storm is master. Man, as a ball, is tossed twixt winds and billows.
    • Friedrich Schiller, Wilhelm Tell, IV. 1. 59.
  • Loud o'er my head though awful thunders roll,
    And vivid lightnings flash from pole to pole,
    Yet 'tis Thy voice, my God, that bids them fly,
    Thy arm directs those lightnings through the sky.
    Then let the good Thy mighty name revere,
    And hardened sinners Thy just vengeance fear.
    • Walter Scott, On a Thunderstorm. Written at the age of twelve. Found in Lockhart's Life of Scott, Volume I, Chapter III.
  • For many years I was self-appointed inspector of snow-storms and rain-storms and did my duty faithfully.

See also

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