Weather Terms

Excerpt from: Hands-On Math Projects with Real-Life Applications .

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.

Cyclone – An area of closed, circular fluid motion rotating counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.

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 or 0 degrees Celsius.

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 genesally 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.

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