A storm is a violent disturbance, and most references to storms have to do with weather effects dominated by strong winds. The main types include the hailstorm, ice storm, rainstorm, snowstorm, thunderstorm, windstorm, cyclone, hurricane, and tornado.
The first six types refer to violent winds accompanied by another feature. A hailstorm is weather system accompanied by a fall of hailstones, ice pellets that are larger than 0.2 inches (5 millimeters) in diameter. Even though ice is involved in both, an ice storm is different. Precipitation in the form of snow or rain freezes on contact with whatever it lands on, forming a coating of ice on the surface.
A rainstorm is not just any fall of rain, but strong system characterized by strong winds and heavy rain. A snowstorm is windy weather during which there is a heavy snowfall. A blizzard is a particularly violent type of snowstorm, with wind speeds at or above 35 miles per hour (56 kilometers per hour) and visibility less than 0.25 miles (400 meters) for three hours.
A windstorm has either strong winds or strong gusts of wind, but very little or no rain. A dust storm is a particularly severe windstorm in which clouds of dust are swept across a large area. A violent windstorm with rain, snow, or hail, on the other hand, is called a tempest, while a violent but brief windstorm, which may be accompanied by precipitation of rain or snow, is called a squall.
A cyclone is a violent storm with rotating winds that move clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere, but counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. A hurricane is a particularly severe cyclone — specifically, one originating near the equator and traveling more or less north, usually accompanied by heavy rains. A tornado is a whirling column of air with a funnel-shape. A waterspout refers to a tornado over the water. Although most tornadoes are cyclonic — meaning they rotate in the same directions as cyclones, depending on the hemisphere — anti-cyclonic tornadoes have been observed in the Northern Hemisphere, rotating clockwise.
Then, of course, there is the most infamous type of storm humans experience: the brainstorm. This may refer either to a violent disturbance of the mind that has a negative effect, or to the sudden advent of a clever idea or novel plan. In most cases, this "gust" of imagination is disconnected from previous thoughts, coming into the mind without warning and with unpredictable results. Although storms of this type can occur at any time and in any place, the shower and the driver's seat of cars seem to be two particularly likely spots.