The goal of this investigation is to further develop nonlinear modal numerical simulation methods for application to geometrically nonlinear response of structures exposed to combined high intensity random pressure fluctuations and thermal loadings. The study is conducted on a flat aluminum beam, which permits a comparison of results obtained by a reduced-order analysis with those obtained from a numerically intensive simulation in physical degrees-of-freedom. A uniformly distributed thermal loading is first applied to investigate the dynamic instability associated with thermal buckling. A uniformly distributed random loading is added to investigate the combined thermal-acoustic response. In the latter case, three types of response characteristics are considered, namely: (i) small amplitude vibration around one of the two stable buckling equilibrium positions, (ii) intermittent snap-through response between the two equilibrium positions, and (iii) persistent snap-through response between the two equilibrium positions. For the reduced order analysis, four categories of modal basis functions are identified including those having symmetric transverse (ST), anti-symmetric transverse (AT), symmetric in-plane (SI), and anti-symmetric in-plane (AI) displacements. The effect of basis selection on the quality of results is investigated for the dynamic thermal buckling and combined thermal-acoustic response. It is found that despite symmetric geometry, loading, and boundary conditions, the AT and SI modes must be included in the basis as they participate in the snap-through behavior.