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What is the difference when the weather report says thunderstorms vs when it says thundershowers and the picture is still the same?

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  • $\begingroup$ Thunderstorms are also known as electrical storms or lightening storms. Thunderstorms occur in a type of cloud known as a cumulonimbus. They are usually accompanied by strong winds, and often produce heavy rain and sometimes snow, sleet, or hail, but some thunderstorms produce little precipitation or no precipitation at all. Relatively weak thunderstorms are sometimes called thundershowers $\endgroup$ – Fred Oct 17 at 11:38
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Physically there is no difference. A thunderstorm is defined by occurrence of lightning, no matter how much lightning there is, if it's cloud-to-ground or intercloud. Usually if meteorologists talk about thundershowers in weather reports they want to point out that there will be weaker thunderstorms (e.g. without hail, storm, heavy rainfall or the danger of flash floods).

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