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2 questions

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1. thunderstorms form when a parcel of air rises and is warmer than the air surrounding it, right? and the greater the difference of temps between the rising air and surrounding air, does that make the storm stronger? what causes the warmer air to rise? i know heat rises, so would it just be something like wind blowing hot air to a cooler spot, and the unequal heating causes the warmest of the air to rise? andwhat happens after it does rise? what map do you need to look at to tell when this is happening? i'm very very new and ignorant when it comes to technicalities in meteorology and severe weather, but i;m trying to learn as much as i can so please bare with me. i'm expecting to be near 100% wrong, just dont laugh at me help me! lol.

2. how do i get the temperature of my current location in my mini profile like y;all got?

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Warm air rises relative to cooler air because it is less dense...like a helium balloon. This is called convection. However, thunderstorms or even rain showers don't always form under good convective conditions. Sometimes only tall cumulus clouds will form (TCUs). The upward motion and available energy in a storm is generally stronger the greater the difference is between the rising parcels and the ambient air, however there are many other processes that determine the character and strength of a thunderstorm...ie: synoptic and mesoscale dynamical/physical processes. There are too many variations of these forces to go into here, but you can check out some modules on Comet, etc.

Lightning does not form just because there is convection ongoing. Lightning needs ice in the storm and a deep separation (strong updrafts) of the charges within the storm btw the ice and the ground. Generally, a storm needs convection occurring at least 10 Kft above the freezing level or ~40 dBz ice core returns for a decent lightning potential. There are other ways to determine tstm lighting potential, but again there are many good tutorials online if you're interested.

To get the weather icons...go to your profile at the top left of the page, drop down menu, then "My Settings", then "Four Letter Airport Code For Weather Obs".

Oh and btw, the bathroom is down the hall and to the left.

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