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Weather: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
What Is a Barometer and How Does it Work?
How do barometers work? Measuring the amount of air pressure in your area is explained in this article. How to measure atmospheric pressure is one step to weather prediction and forecasts in your local area. Now you can determine if a high or low pressure system is approaching your area and maybe even build your own barometer!
What Does 'Chance of Rain' Really Mean?
A chance of rain or probability of precipitation is an often misunderstood calculation in weather forecasts.
What Are the Types of Air Masses?
Air masses are one of the key components to understanding weather. There are several different types of air masses in general, but each individual air mass will have its own unique temperature and moisture properties.
What Caused the Dust Bowl of the 1930s?
The Dust Bowl was a weather disaster that is almost unparalleled in the United States in terms of drought. NASA scientists think they have found out why the great Dust Bowl of the 1930's had such a devastating effect. Learn the details of what caused this drought and the storms that devastated the economy.
Preventing, Predicting, and Preparing for...
Droughts are common in many parts of the world. Droughts are caused by low precipitation over an extended period of time and can make an area so arid that crops fail and famines are common.
Tornadoes - How Tornadoes Form
The types of tornadoes that can form are related to both their source region and the location where they make landfall. In addition, although most tornadoes occur as a result of supercell thunderstorm development, many do not. Page 4.
What Is a Monsoon?
Monsoons are a seasonal occurrence that can cause flash floods, deaths, and crop failures. They are caused in part by shifts in wind direction.
What Does a Meteorologist Do?
What Is a Meteorologist? This basic but popular question is often asked. Here, I explain the steps needed to become a meteorologist, several types of meteorologists, and ways to become a weather forecaster.
How to Read a Weather Map and Understand the...
Symbols are used in meteorology in order to facilitate communication among the meteorologists of the world. Without the symbols used on weather maps, it would take a long time to indicate what the weather was!
How Does Hail Form?
What causes hailstones to form during a severe weather event? These tiny ice balls can cause damages to cars and property and have even been known to kill. So how do golf ball sized hailstones form in the atmosphere? Find out here!
What Is a Hygrometer and How Does It Work?
How Does a Hygrometer Work? Find a detailed explanation and photos of the inner workings of this simple weather instrument used to measure humidity.
The 7 Types of Weather Found in a High Pressure...
There are 7 types of weather in a high pressure system. High pressure zones, or anticyclones, on a weather map usually indicate calm and dry weather and winds that spiral away from the high pressure zone.
The Fujita Scale
How tornadoes form is a common question that has not fully been answered by the scientific community as of yet.
Layers of the Atmosphere: The Structure and...
Atmosphere is the gaseous envelope surrounding the earth. A look at the layers:Troposphere,Stratosphere, Mesophere,Thermosphere,Ionosphere.
The Top 10 Deadliest US Tornadoes
The top 10 deadliest US tornadoes created a staggering death toll. The number of lives lost was tragic, as was the damage caused. Tornado damage happens quickly and often without warning causing damage much worse than it would have been with more warning. This is especially true in tornado alley. Pictures of tornadoes show the devastation that can be caused by them based on wind speed (as measured by the Fujita scale) and population of the area where the tornado touched down.
What Does 'Ambient Temperature' Really Mean?
Ambient temperature is defined in the weather glossary.
Here's What You Need to Know to Survive a...
Blizzards - How to survive a blizzard or snow storm may be a skill you would not expect to need in your lifetime, but there are hundreds of deaths every year as a result of getting stuck in the cold. Imagine being snowed into your house or being stranded in a car during a blizzard. Would you know how to survive? Here, this advice could save you life!
Here's How to Prove Air Has Mass
Air has mass, but this idea is difficult for younger students to understand. To many students, air simply exists as a weightless substance. Proving air has mass can be a wonderful weather lesson plan and classroom science demonstration for school or as the basis of a science fair project.
Introduction to Tornadoes - A Weather Guide...
Tornadoes have occurred in all 50 states. You may not be safe. Know the danger signs of tornado formation and where tornadoes are most likely to occur. Learning the violenbt nature of tornadoes are critical to preventing damages to your life and home. Page 2.
What Are Isobars?
Isobar is defined in the weather glossary. Full definitions include photos and links to key weather articles on the topic. Explore the latest weather news as you browse the meteorology terms organized alphabetically with synonyms, misuses, and pronunciations.
What Does Evaporation Mean for Weather?
Evaporation definition. Weather.
Torrential Rain
Torrential rain definition in the weather glossary at About.com.
What are the warning signs of an approaching...
An hour-by-hour description of weather conditions leading up to a (Category 2) hurricane strike.
How Do Clouds Form?
Find the answer to all your weather science questions. Many answers include demonstrations, videos, and photos to help you understand cloud formation.
Tornadoes - A Weather Guide Tutorial
When is your state likely to get hit by a tornado? Look at the data to determine your danger zone for tornado damages. Page 3.
What is Graupel and How Is It Different from...
Graupel is a type of precipitation often referred to as snow pellets or soft hail.
Weather Map Symbols
Weather Map Symbols - Understanding Weather Maps
10 Famous Meteorologists
Famous meteorologists encompass more people than you see on your local news stations or The Weather Channel. Meteorologists work behind the scenes, too, and many of them work in other countries where they are famous for various forecasts or discoveries but are not household names in the United States. Whether you call them meteorologists or weather people, these famous individuals provide a lot of insight into what the day will hold.
Convectional Rainfall
Teachers looking for weather lesson plans will love this science experiment on air pressure. The original lesson is exciting and hands-on allowing for development of the science process skills.
Tropical Air
Tropical air is a weather term used to describe air formed in regions where the temperature is warm, such as the equator.
What Is Smog?
The formation of smog is hazardous to your health especially if you live in a big sunny city. One of the main components of photochemical smog is ozone. When ozone is formed high in the atmosphere, it filters out UV radiation from the sun. But when ozone is formed from the burning of fossil fuels in the lower atmosphere, it is called ground level ozone and is dangerous to breathe. Find out now how smog is formed and how you can protect yourself.
Global Warming Vs. Climate Change
Global Warming Vs. Climate Change - What is the difference?
Learning to Read a Barometer
Lesson plans for teachers on weather instruments are available here. In this lesson, students will be able to read a barometer and interpret the readings. Students will also understand that pressure changes can be related to daily weather changes and forecasting.
Altocumulus Cloud - Weather Definition
Altocumulus cloud definition and photo including related weather terms in a full indexed weather photo glossary.
What Is a Land Breeze?
Land Breeze. Weather.
Continental Air
Continental Air definition and photo including related weather terms in a full indexed weather photo glossary.
Is There Really a Difference Between Hurricanes...
The difference between hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones is easy! When hurricane Flossie hit Hawaii, many people wondered why this storm was not called a typhoon. Now, you can get the complete answer here as well as the names of all the future storms in the Atlantic and Pacific.
Continental Air Mass
Continental Air Mass. Weather.
Top 10 Free Tornado Videos - See the Power of a...
Witness the awesome power of high winds and damaging debris flying and swirling from close range in this list of the top 10 best tornado videos ever!
What Is La Nina?
La Nina is explained as an atmospheric interaction between the ocean and the air. Climate is controlled regionally and worldwide by the ENSO, El Nino, and La Nina.
Weather Games and Simulations
Find fun and educational weather games that use a particular topic such as tornadoes, lightning, hurricanes, or precipitation to teach about weather and meteorology.
Maritime Air Mass
Maritime Air Mass. Weather.
Weather Songs in the Classroom: A Lesson Guide...
Teach students about weather using music in this wonderful lesson plan series. The top 10 songs from 5 decades are broken down for educators to present to students in the classroom as an interactive and fun way to get meteorology vocabulary into the minds of kids. Using weather songs in the classroom will help you to make science interesting at any level in school. Page 4.
Virga
Virga. Weather.
The Waco Tornado
The top 10 deadliest US tornadoes created a staggering death toll. The number of lives lost in these tornadoes was tragic, as was the damage that they caused. Tornado damage happens very quickly and often without a lot of warning. This is especially true in the area of the US called tornado alley. Pictures of tornadoes show the devastation that can be caused based on wind speed (as measured by the Fujita scale) and the population of the area where the tornado touched down.
Ozone - Not All Ozone Is Good for Earth
Ozone in the Atmosphere - Don't ignore the warnings about ozone. Ozone depletion in the upper atmosphere is bad, but we have an even bigger problem with ground level ozone. Find out what you can do to prevent illnesses and environmental pollution in this list of ways to keep safe during ozone alert days from your local news forecast.
Heat Stroke - Weather Definition
Heat stroke definition including related heat stress illnesses in a full indexed weather photo glossary.
Muggy
Muggy weather is a common term used to describe particular weather conditions associated with humid air.
Why Doesn't Freezing Rain Turn Into Snow?
Freezing rain is a winter precipitation type that can be deadly. Learn what causes freezing rain, how freezing rain forms, and the differences between freezing rain and sleet or snow formation.
The Jet Stream
A narrow band of air that moves around the earth at relatively high speeds. Speeds in a jet can reach close to 200 miles per hour
How Does a Tipping Bucket Rain Gauge Work?
How do tipping bucket rain gauges work> Measuring the amount of rainfall or precipitation in your area is explained in this article. How to measure rain in your area is one step to weather prediction and forecasts in your local area. Whether you are a homeowner, farmer, worker, scientific researcher or just curious, you will find a detailed explanation of tipping bucket rain gauges here.
What is a Low Pressure Area?
The basics of low pressure areas are discussed, including their importance in producing storms.
Source Region
Source region is the location from which an air mass originates. Examples of source regions include the icy continental portions of Canada in the winter.
Get Weather's "Warming/Cooling Process" Sayings...
Condensation and evaporation, the same processes we experience when drinking a glass of iced tea or a cup of hot coffee, also shape our weather. Here's how.
What Is Surface Water Runoff?
Surface water runoff is a part of the water cycle and a major factor in the reasons some areas have intense flooding. Surface water runoff can cause both flash floods and slow-onset floods.
Weather Vanes: A Brief History
Weather vanes have been used since at least the first century B.C. These primitive but easy to use weather instruments are the subject of both collectible history and weather history.
Tropical Storm
Tropical storm definition in the weather glossary.
Weather and Climate. PB&J. You Can't Have...
Apparently time isn't just money...it's also what separates weather from climate.
How Thunderstorms Form
Thunderstorms are classic weather events, but many of us are unfamiliar with how they form. Ingredients, formation, and life cycle are discussed here.
6 Things You Should Never Do During a Lightning...
Guilty of not heeding your grandma's advice of quieting down during a thunderstorm? You may take her recommendations more seriously after reading this.
How to Find the Perfect Weather for Skydiving
Weather and skydiving experts come together in this article on the types of weather to look out for before you venture into an airplane and jump. Your adventure can be enhanced with some simple knowledge of weather and parachuting.
What Is a Dry Thunderstorm?
Dry thunderstorms often occur in the Western United States. The lightning strikes that result from a dry storm are often the culprits responsible for massive wildfires during fire weather season.
The Shape of Raindrops
Contrary to popular belief, raindrops are not shaped like tear drops. They're shaped more like hamburger buns.
Beaufort Wind Scale
The intensity of wind is commonly measured using the Beaufort Wind Intensity Scale. Page 10.
Dust Devil
A dust devil is not a true tornado but rather an atmospheric disturbance caused by convective processes.
9 Types of Snow Storms
The nine main types of winter precipitation are listed and explained including outside educational links for families to create winter safety and emergency kits. Compare the types of snow storms that could hit your area. Snow flurries, snow showers, winter squalls, and blizzards are discussed as the ingredients for winter precipitation are explained in detail. Keeping yourself and your family safe during the winter months is crucial as winter storm warnings are addressed.
Teach Yourself How to Spot Severe Storms on...
When storms are in your vicinity, watch for these colors and patterns on the radar screen in able to discern which are less of a threat, and which you may need to seek immediate shelter from.
Types of Floods
Types of floods and the floodplains that are affected are a form of severe weather that cause some of the most expensive and devastating damages in the United States. Learn about the types of floods, where floodplains are located, and some skills for practicing flood safety.
Warm Fronts
Weather maps use various symbols to indicate weather systems. Here, you can see the symbol used for a warm front. Page 5.
The Coriolis Effect
Understanding the Coriolis Effect is not easy for many people. Why do the winds blow? What direction does wind blow in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres? These question are answered easily with a series of videos and computer simulations as well as a comprehensive list of Coriolis Effect lesson plans and curriculum materials.
Barometer Diagram
A barometer measures atmospheric pressure by balance the weight of mercury in a glass tube against the weight of air in the atmosphere. Page 10.
How Does Weather Affect How You Sweat?
Why do you sweat and how does evaporative cooling reduce body temperature? If you spend time outside in the summer heat, then you should know the dangers of prolonged exposure to summer heat. Calculating and understanding the Heat Index is the key to knowing when to cool down.
Front
Fronts or frontal boundaries definition
Stability
Stability definition. Weather.
Why Does Earth Have 4 Seasons?
Explore the science behind winter, spring, summer, and fall.
Top 10 Deadliest Tornadoes
A list of the top 10 deadliest tornadoes in the United States.
How the Earth Heats Up During a 24-hour Period
You've heard that the hottest part of the day is between 10 and 3 o'clock, but have you ever wondered why? The answer lies with Earth's diurnal cycle.
How to Become a Meteorologist - About.com Weather
Advice on how to get the right education that'll prepare you for a successful career in weather.
Tropical Wave
Tropical wave definition in the weather glossary.
Weather Station Symbols
Using a weather station reporting model, you will understand the ways meteorologists reprt weather data across the country. Page 4.
Weather Symbols Summary
Summary of meteorological weather symbols used for weather station reporting. Page 9.
Meet Weather's 2 Newest Clouds
Get in-the-know about weather's two new cloud types -- the first additions to the cloud family in over 40 years! (Plus, why they're still not official yet...)
Hurricane Season
Hurricane season is defined in the weather glossary.
Never Confuse a Thunderstorm, Tornado, or...
How do thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes differ? See how in this side-by-side storm comparison.
Zulu Time
Coordinated Universal Time or Zulu Time is the worldwide time reporting method preferred by the National Weather Service and represents an addition or subtraction in numbers from the Prime Meridian Longitude Time of zero to determine the local time.
Cloud Cover Symbols
Using a station model, meteorologists report cloud cover using a series of symbols. Page 11.
Flood Facts and Statistics
The Flood Fact File for interesting and little=known statistics on floods.
Top 10 Weather Songs of the 1960's
A list of the top weather songs of the 1960's is listed including artist, year, record label, and description. This fun list of songs is perfect for the weather fan and includes all the details you need to find these oldies classics.
Fronts - Weather Map Symbols for the Types of...
Weather fronts are a weather condition that occurs when two or more air masses meet. Find the weather map symbols for the different types of fronts here.
Hurricane Formation: How Hurricanes Form in the...
Hurricanes start in the Sahara Desert. This exciting tutorial takes you through the birth of a hurricane and explains the reason for the Atlantic hurricane season.
Cold Fronts Approaching
Cold air that pushes in on a warm air mass will cause an uplift of air sometimes producing severe weather conditions. Page 3.
Heat Wave
A definition of heat wave, including its history and dangers. Click through our list of suggested readings to learn even more.
The Perfect Storm - Nor'easters
The Perfect Storm occurred around October 31, 1991 as a massive and rare storm. With three meteorological conditions combining to create what has been called the 'Storm of the Century', this Halloween storm will not soon be forgotten. In fact, Sebastian Junger profiled this storm in his novel, The Perfect Storm. A film was later created based on the book.
Climatologist
Climatologist definition and job responsibilities
An Introduction to Tornadoes
Tornadoes have occurred in all 50 states. You may not be safe. Know the danger signs of tornado formation and where tornadoes are most likely to occur. Learning the violenbt nature of tornadoes are critical to preventing damages to your life and home.
Hurricane Tracking Charts
Hurricane tracking charts are used to track the path of a hurricane. Computer generated versions of the hurricane maps are produced daily, but students and teachers can also use these blank maps in the classroom.
Willy Willy
Willy-Willy is defined in the weather glossary. Full definitions include photos and links to key weather articles on the topic. Explore the latest weather news as you browse the meteorology terms organized alphabetically with synonyms, misuses, and pronunciations.
Knot
Knots. Weather.
Aristotle: The Great Philosopher...and...
Learn about the world's first climate classification system, which only consisted of three climate zones--the torrid, temperate, and frigid. As with many other inventions, we have the ancient Greeks to thank!
Make a Cloud in a Bottle
The key ingredients of cloud formation are easy to replicate in a jar or bottle. This quick demonstration will show you how to make your own clouds.
Stationary Fronts
Stationary fronts are shown in this guide to weather map symbols. Page 6.
Weather Map Symbols - Fronts and Air Masses
Warm Fronts Slide Over Cold Air Masses. Page 2.
How to Be a Storm Chaser
How to be a storm chaser is one of the most frequently asked questions I receive. Read an exciting interview with a real-life storm chaser! Chris Caldwell is a participant in the annual storm chaser car show at the National Weather Festival in Oklahoma and he has great stories to tell and advice on becoming a storm chaser.
What Is a Tropical Cyclone?
Tropical cyclones are one of the greatest meteorology hazards in the world. Next to flooding, the development of a tropical cyclone in any ocean can create a panic among the masses. Find the definition and information on naming tropical cyclones here.
Nitrogen - Gases in the Atmosphere
Nitrogen in the atmosphere is defined in the weather glossary. Full definitions include photos and links to key weather articles on the topic. Explore the latest weather news as you browse the meteorology terms organized alphabetically with synonyms, misuses, and pronunciations.
How Many Lightning Deaths Have Occurred in the...
Data and diagrams of lightning deaths by state for the years 1959-2004. Find out why the United States has a high risk of lightning deaths. With data from NASA ans NOAA, you can determine if a severe thunderstorm will affect you. You will also learn how to protect yourself from a lightning strike.
Warm Fronts Movement
Warm fronts and the movements associated with cold air masses. Page 2.
Mare's Tails and Mackerel Scales
Mackerel scales and mare’s tails, make lofty ships carry low sails. Is the weather folklore true or false?
Buys Ballot Law
Buys Ballots law, sometimes referred to as the Baric Wind Law, is discussed.
What are Waterspouts?
Is a water spout a tornado? Learning how tornadoes form could save your life. Would you know what to look for? Find out everything you need to know about the formation of these violent twisters.
What Kind of Cloud Is That?
Name any cloud, anywhere in the world by asking these 5 questions about it.
Thunderstorms
Thunderstorms are small scale weather patterns resulting from the formation of cumulonimbus clouds. A storm usually builds and diminishes within 30 minutes.
Why Is Snow White?
Why is snow white? The color of snow is white, but sometimes not. While this question may seem simple, you may be surprised at the answer.
The Heat Index - Calculating the Heat Index
The Heat Index is a tool used my meteorologists. You know it is hot, but is it a dry heat? Are you in danger of heat stroke? Use an online calculator to calculate Heat Index. Advanced heat index equations are available, or plug some numbers in for the temperature and humidity and you will know if you need to go inside on that hot summer day!
Chionophobia
Chionophobia - Weather phobia
What is NASA's Anvil Rule for Thunderstorms?
NASA launch protocols include data on weather and events within the atmosphere. Learn how anvil clouds form and why they are dangerous to the launch of a space shuttle.
Weather Coloring Books for Kids
Weather coloring books are a fun and easy way to teach about severe storm safety and preparation. Students, teachers and families can get educated on the basics of tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning, winter storms, and flash floods through these informative and free weather downloads.
Surviving the Winds of Hurricane Ivan
Author Michielle Beck tells her tale of survival during Hurricane Ivan on weather.about.com, the site for up-to-date weather news and information for teachers, students, and the community. Get educated and explore your earth environment!
Trace Precipitation
Trace precipitation is defined in the weather glossary.
Riverine Floods
Riverine floods are one type of flood that can cause excessive water flows over a floodplain area.
Don't Let Spring's Arrival Fool You Into...
Ever heard of a Blackberry winter and wondered what it is?
What is Lake Effect Snow?
What is the difference between a lake effect snow storm and a regular winter storm? All of your weather questions are answered here!
Occluded Fronts
Occluded fronts are a type of front or frontal boundary. There are warm occlusions and cold occlusions.
Wind Gusts
Wind gust definition in the weather glossary.
Ozone Layer Depletion
Is the ozone layer recovering after the historic Montreal protocol? Ozone up high is a necessary ingredient for keeping Earth protected from harmful UV radiation. Near the ground, ozone is considered a pollutant and is a primary ingredient in smog. Are we doing enough to heal the ozone layer?
Top 9 Computer Games and Video Clip Animations...
Using computer simulations and video tutorials, full understanding of the Coriolis Effect on Earth winds is explained in detail. Although often difficult to describe in words, these movie files and games will help any weather lover to better understand the wind belts on earth and their directions of movement.
Simulate a Weather Front with Warm and Cold Air...
Make your very own weather front in a jar! Use these step by step instructions to create a weather front for yourself or for the classroom!
Things You Should NEVER Do After a Flood
After a flood, there are a multitude of dangers that can present themselves. Everyone should be aware of the 20 most dangerous things you can do after a flood. The different types of floods each present their own hazards, but the overall message is to NEVER do the following 20 things after the flood waters have risen.
Types of Natural Disasters
Types of natural disasters, specifically weather-related natural disasters, account for the greatest economic and human losses in the world year after year.
Dew Point
Dew point temperature. Weather.
Two Hurricanes Colliding - Can Hurricanes Merge...
Two hurricanes merging to form one big hurricane is the topic of this interesting reader question. The reader wants to know if the storm will form one big hurricane or superhurricane.
Kelvin Helmholtz Clouds
Kelvin Helmholtz Instability (KHI) is a natural phenomena described by Lord Kelvin and Hermann von Helmholtz. When KHI plays a role in the atmosphere, some very unsual wave clouds can form.
Wind Shear
Wind Shear definition is presented along with evidence and new research on preventing aviation accidents based on NASA technology. The role of wind shear in hurricane development is also discussed.
Red Flag Warnings
Red flag warnings are issued when conditions are currently right for the formation of wildfires.
Atmospheric Pressure
Teachers looking for weather lesson plans will love this science experiment on air pressure. The original lesson is exciting and hands-on allowing for development of the science process skills.
The 5 Types of Weather Fronts
An introduction to the five types of weather fronts and the weather that each brings.
Hurricane Katrina Explained
Why did New Orleans flood? Why did Hurricane Katrina cause so much damage in the Gulf? These questions and more are part of a series of weather articles.
The Köppen System of Climate Classification
Think the Köppen climate classification looks like gibberish? Learn what each letter means and how you can find the Köppen classification of any location world-wide.
Heads Up! Lightning Ahead
Keep a lookout for these signs; they'll warn you when it's time to seek shelter indoors and, God forbid, when lightning may be about to strike you.
The Oldest Known Tornado Photo
Is this the oldest known photo of a tornado? Dated 1884, I challenge you to find an older photo! You can find even more historic weather photography and storm chaser imagery at the educational guide to weather.
The Flint-Beecher Tornado
The top 10 deadliest US tornadoes created a staggering death toll. The number of lives lost in these tornadoes was tragic, as was the damage that they caused. Tornado damage happens very quickly and often without a lot of warning. This is especially true in the area of the US called tornado alley. Pictures of tornadoes show the devastation that can be caused based on wind speed (as measured by the Fujita scale) and the population of the area where the tornado touched down.
Warm Occlusions
Warm occlusions are a type of occluded front.
How to Use Weather Maps to Make a Forecast
How to use weather maps to make a mock forecast: A high school science lesson plan
The 10 Most Dangerous States for Lightning Deaths
Find out which states in the United States have the greatest number of lightning and thunderstorms related deaths and injuries.
Top 10 Weather Songs of the 1970's
A list of the top weather songs of the 1970's is listed including artist, year, record label, and description. This fun list of songs is perfect for the weather fan and includes all the details you need to find these oldies classics.
Supercell Thunderstorms
Supercell thunderstorm definition in the weather glossary.
How Long Does a Tornado Last?
Quick tornado facts and FAQs - Answers from a weather expert
Barometers
Barometer is defined in the weather glossary. Full definitions include photos and links to key weather articles on the topic. Explore the latest weather news as you browse the meteorology terms organized alphabetically with synonyms, misuses, and pronunciations.
Cold Front Symbol
Cold Front Weather Map Symbol. Page 7.

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