"Lightning" is naturally created as an electric current in the cloud. Similarly, thunderstorms form when hot air rises rapidly and brings moisture to other parts of the atmosphere higher up.
As this happens, water vapor cools and condenses. When these water droplets get heavy enough, they fall down as rain.
"Convection" is the process of warm air rising. This happens when the atmosphere above Earth becomes unstable for whatever reason. Most often, this un-stability is caused due to sudden changes in air pressure and temperature.
How are Different kinds of "Thunderstorms" Created?
The formation of thunderstorms occurs in one of 3 different ways.
Orographic Thunderstorms: This kind of thunderstorms form when warm air rises up rapidly by the side of a mountain or hill. Together, warm air rushes up the side of a mountain or hill till it reaches a high enough altitude where it can cool.
In localized unstable air, air mass thunderstorms are created. Frontal thunderstorms on the other hand, are formed due to boundaries of hot air and cold air over massive areas of land that destabilize the atmosphere considerably.
When even stronger warmer updrafts and quicker colder downward drafts of circulating air in lower parts of the atmosphere. Water helps release heat in the cloud when this energy condenses, and the hotter air keeps rising again till it cools. This latent heat due its incessant warmth forms Supercell Thunderstorms.
An array of thunderstorms is come under various spectrums. The arrangement of storms within these spectrums is related the strength of updraft, relative frequencies of these updrafts, etc.
Thus, a strong updraft bears a considerably larger threat to life and can cause widescale damage in a relatively short space of time.
Types of Thunderstorms:
1) Single Cell Storms
Single Cell Thunderstorms typically last 50-60 minutes. These kind of storms are also called pulse storms. Single cell storms can still produce intense hail, heavy rainfall, and small scale tornadoes. These can cause damage to property and life even in a short space of time.
2) Multicell Cluster Storms
Multicell cluster thunderstorms are multiple single cell thunderstorms moving as a unified unit in a way that each cell forms a different stage of the thunderstorm lifecycle.
Multicell thunderstorms produce larger sized hailstorms than single cell storms. They can also produce flash floods and moderate sized tornadoes.
3) Multicell Line Storms
Multicell Line Storms are different from Multicell Cluster Thunderstorms in that these storms form a continuous line at the end of it from well defined gusts.
Multicell Line Storms produce larger sized hails, larger flash floods, and larger tornadoes that can cause hundreds of thousands of life loss.
4) Supercell Storms
Supercell Thunderstorms are the most major type of thunderstorm. These thunderstorms have a deep rotating updraft called mesocyclone.
The major point of difference between supercell and multicell thunderstorms is this element of rotation. Sometimes, these allows supercell thunderstorms to produce super tornadoes, even along with a mesocyclone that can cause damage worth millions of lives.