Weather Facts

Weather is what happens in the sky. Weather includes wind, lightning, storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, rain, hail, snow, and lots more. Energy from the sun affects the weather. Climate tells us what kinds of weather usually happen in an area at different times of the year. See the fact file below for more information about the weather.

  • Meteorology is the science that deals with the phenomena of the atmosphere, especially weather and weather conditions. Weather is the state of the atmosphere at a particular time and place with respect to heat or cold, wetness or dryness, calm or storm, and clearness or cloudiness.
  • Weather is impacted by things we can’t see like wind, solar radiation, humidity and air pressure
  • Weather affects everyone in some way, but it definitely has a big impact on people that works in or with weather conditions. Pilots, construction workers, farmers and bus drivers are all really affected by weather.
  • There is a blanket of air that surrounds the earth that is about 15 miles thick. This blanket is called atmosphere. All of our weather happens in the bottom layer of the atmosphere, called the troposphere, which is six to ten miles thick.
  • All of our weather comes from basically two things: the sun and the moisture in the air. These two work together to form clouds which make rain and thunderstorms. These weather conditions cause winds to blow. The wind blows because air has weight.
  • The sun is the engine that drives the motion of water in our atmosphere. This movement of water is called the water cycle, which is also known as the hydrologic cycle. It involves the continuous circulation of water in the atmosphere through evaporation, transpiration, condensation, precipitation, and runoff.
  • No one is exactly sure why lightning occurs, but scientists believe water droplets and ice particles bang together in the cloud, helping to build up positive and negative electrical charges. Electricity flows between the charges, which results in a flash of electricity known as lightning, which heats the air around it. The heat causes the air to expand with an explosive force, resulting in a loud sonic boom we call thunder. The air in the core of a lightning bolt is heated to as much as 54,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That temperature is about six times hotter than the surface of the sun!
  • People once looked to plants and animals for hints about the weather. Before it rains cows lie down, pine cones open up, frogs croak at a faster pace, ants form a line, and sheep’s wool uncurls. Before technology, folks also made forecasts by studying the clouds.
  • A daily weather forecast involves the work of thousands of observers and meteorologists all over the world, and the work of thousands of machines. Modern computers make forecasts more accurate than ever, and weather satellites orbiting the earth take photographs of clouds from space. Weather forecasts made for 12 and 24 hours are typically quite accurate.
  • Many devices help to measure the weather. A thermometer measures temperature, while a barometer measures air pressure. A rain gauge is used to measure precipitation, and
    an anemometer measures wind speed. Satellites takes pictures of clouds from space. Radar shows where and how much rain is falling, while computers import and export data for the meteorologists examine.

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