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Weather Resources

Weather Terms

Atmosphere
The thin envelope of gases, water vapor, dust, and other airborne particles that surround the earth. Commonly referred to as the "air."

Barometer
An instrument used to measure atmospheric pressure.

Blizzard
Heavy snow or blowing snow accompanied by winds of at least 35 miles per hour.

Climate
The average daily or seasonal weather of a particular place or region.

Cloud
A mass of small liquid water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air.

Dew
Moisture that has condensed on objects near the ground.

Dew point
The temperature at which water vapor condenses to a liquid.

Drizzle
Precipitation consisting of very small droplets of water.

Fair
Weather condition in which clouds cover less than 40% of the sky, there are no extremes in temperature or wind, and there is no precipitation.

Fog
A cloud hovering close to the Earth's surface.

Front
The area in which two air masses come into contact.

Frost
A thin layer of ice crystals that form on the ground and other surfaces when water vapor condenses below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Gust
A sudden, brief increase in wind speed.

Hail
Precipitation consisting of pellets of ice.

High pressure
An air mass associated with fair weather.

Humidity
The amount of water vapor in the air.

Hurricane
An intense storm that generally forms over tropical regions. It brings heavy rain, strong winds, and powerful storm surges that can cause severe flooding.

Lightning
The visible discharge of electricity associated with a thunderstorm.

Low pressure
An air mass associated with storms.

Meteorology
The science that studies the weather.

Mostly cloudy
Condition when 70-30% of the sky is covered with clouds.

Mostly sunny
Condition when 10-30% of the sky is covered with clouds.

Overcast
Condition when 90% or more of the sky is covered with clouds.

Partly cloudy (or partly sunny)
Condition when 30-70% of the sky is covered with clouds.

Precipitation
Any form of water, including rain, drizzle, sleet, hail, or snow, that falls to the ground.

Rain
Precipitation consisting of droplets of water.

Sleet
Precipitation consisting of ice particles.

Smog
Fog mixed with particles of pollution.

Snow
Precipitation consisting of small ice crystals.

Sunny (or clear)
Condition when less than 10% of the sky is covered with clouds.

Temperature
Degree of hotness or coldness of the air.

Thunder
The sound caused by lightning heating air and causing it to rapidly expand.

Tornado
A violent whirlwind often accompanied by heavy rain, hail, thunder, and lightning.

Variably cloudy
Condition when cloudiness of the sky varies between 20-90%.

Weather
The condition of the atmosphere at a given time.

Wind
Moving air.