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Weather: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
What Does 'Chance of Rain' Really Mean?
A chance of rain or probability of precipitation is an often misunderstood calculation in weather forecasts.
Clueless About Clouds? Learn These 6 Basics in...
Clueless about clouds? These Q&As will teach you the basics of cloud behavior.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
How to Read a Weather Map and Understand the...
wind speed direction intensity meteorologists weather maps symbols
Remember When It Rained... Frogs?
The expression "it's raining cats and dogs" may not be true, but it is true that stranger things have
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 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!
Torrential Rain
Torrential rain definition in the weather glossary at About.com.
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 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.
What Experts are Predicting for Your 2015...
Will 2015 be another quiet season for Atlantic hurricane activity? Five experts weigh in with their forecasts.
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.
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.
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 Does 'Ambient Temperature' Really Mean?
Ambient temperature is defined in the weather glossary.
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.
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.
What Does Evaporation Mean for Weather?
Evaporation definition. Weather.
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.
What Is a Land Breeze?
Land Breeze. Weather.
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.
Muggy weather is a common term used to describe particular weather conditions associated with humid air.
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.
Weather Map Symbols
Weather Map Symbols - Understanding Weather Maps
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 are the warning signs of an approaching...
An hour-by-hour description of weather conditions leading up to a (Category 2) hurricane strike.
Heat Stroke - Weather Definition
Heat stroke definition including related heat stress illnesses in a full indexed weather photo glossary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tropical Air
Tropical air is a weather term used to describe air formed in regions where the temperature is warm, such as the equator.
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.
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.
Don't Let Spring's Arrival Fool You Into...
Ever heard of a Blackberry winter and wondered what it is?
Global Warming Vs. Climate Change
Global Warming Vs. Climate Change - What is the difference?
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.
Altocumulus Cloud - Weather Definition
Altocumulus cloud definition and photo including related weather terms in a full indexed weather photo glossary.
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!
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 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
Top 10 Deadliest Tornadoes
A list of the top 10 deadliest tornadoes in the United States.
Continental Air Mass
Continental Air Mass. Weather.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Maritime Air Mass
Maritime Air Mass. Weather.
Chionophobia - Weather phobia
Continental Air
Continental Air definition and photo including related weather terms in a full indexed weather photo glossary.
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.
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.
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 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.
How Long Does a Tornado Last?
Quick tornado facts and FAQs - Answers from a weather expert
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.
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.
Here's What That Red "L" on Weather Maps Means
Low pressure areas are notorious for bringing rain and stormy weather.
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.
Heat Wave
A definition of heat wave, including its history and dangers. Click through our list of suggested readings to learn even more.
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!
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.
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.
Weather and Climate. PB&J. You Can't Have...
Apparently time isn't just money...it's also what separates weather from climate.
Virga. Weather.
Tropical Wave
Tropical wave definition in the weather glossary.
The Shape of Raindrops
Contrary to popular belief, raindrops are not shaped like tear drops. They're shaped more like hamburger buns.
Dew Point
Dew point temperature. Weather.
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.
Knots. Weather.
Beaufort Wind Scale
The intensity of wind is commonly measured using the Beaufort Wind Intensity Scale. Page 10.
Warm Fronts
Weather maps use various symbols to indicate weather systems. Here, you can see the symbol used for a warm front. Page 5.
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.
Trace Precipitation
Trace precipitation is defined in the weather glossary.
Ceiling - Cloud Ceiling defined in the weather glossary.
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.
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.
Weather Symbols Summary
Summary of meteorological weather symbols used for weather station reporting. Page 9.
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.
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.
Tropical Storm
Tropical storm definition in the weather glossary.
Stationary Fronts
Stationary fronts are shown in this guide to weather map symbols. Page 6.
Weather Station Symbols
Using a weather station reporting model, you will understand the ways meteorologists reprt weather data across the country. Page 4.
Hurricane Season
Hurricane season is defined in the weather glossary.
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.
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.
What is El Niño?
: What is El Niño? : El Niño is a naturally occurring event during which sea surface temperatures in
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!
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 Satellites: Forecasting Earth's Weather...
Discover how satellites circling hundreds of miles above the Earth offer previews of global weather patterns hours to days in advance. Page 2.
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.
Cloud Cover Symbols
Using a station model, meteorologists report cloud cover using a series of symbols. Page 11.
Fronts or frontal boundaries definition
Classifying and Naming Clouds
What are the names of the clouds overhead? Learn how to easily tell this by visually observing their appearance and height above you. 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?
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.
Buys Ballot Law
Buys Ballots law, sometimes referred to as the Baric Wind Law, is discussed.
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.
Tornado Safety
Tornado Safety - Will you know EXACTLY what to do in the event of a severe storm such as a tornado? This article will guide you through the three main ways tornadoes cause damage and give you a plan to stay safe in the event a thunderstorm develops into a severe twister.
What Is the World Record Highest Wind Speed?
The highest wind speed recorded occurred in the Northeast United States at Mount Washington Observatory. Read about the amazing wind speed weather record taken from this peak.
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.
Never Confuse a Thunderstorm, Tornado, or...
How do thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes differ? See how in this side-by-side storm comparison.
Wind Gusts
Wind gust definition in the weather glossary.
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.
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.
Flood Facts and Statistics
The Flood Fact File for interesting and little=known statistics on floods.
Climatologist definition and job responsibilities
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.
Is the Earth Warming Because of Human Activity...
Evidence from multiple sources indicate the earth is warming due to increases in greenhouse gases. Political statements and confusion in reading scientific graphs and research have caused a lot of hot button arguments about earth's climate change.
Can Crickets Really Tell You the Temperature...
Hearing crickets chirp is a true sound of summer. If you listen hard enough, you can tell what the temperature is outside! Find out how!
Dust Devil
A dust devil is not a true tornado but rather an atmospheric disturbance caused by convective processes.
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.
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!
Brush Up On Your Tropical Cyclone Etiquette In...
What's the difference between a tropical disturbance, tropical depression, tropical storm, and so on? Learn the lingo here.
Weather Map Symbols - Fronts and Air Masses
Warm Fronts Slide Over Cold Air Masses. Page 2.
Weather Watches, Warnings and Advisories for...
Knowing the difference between weather watches, warnings, and advisories is THE first step to keeping your loved ones safe. Start here.
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.
Thunderstorms are small scale weather patterns resulting from the formation of cumulonimbus clouds. A storm usually builds and diminishes within 30 minutes.
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.
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.
Riverine Floods
Riverine floods are one type of flood that can cause excessive water flows over a floodplain area.
Name That Weather Front Symbol
weather maps symbols fronts cold warm occluded stationary stationery
Cloud Condensation Nuclei
Cloud Condensation Nuclei. Weather.
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.
Hurricane Intensity
Hurricanes, such as Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Andrew, have intensity ratings measured in categories. Use this interactive timeline to show how much damage is caused by different hurricane categories.
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.
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.
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.
Tropical Depressions
Tropical depressions definition in the weather glossary.
7 Myths About Tornado Safety - Busted!
A look at 7 of the most popular tornado myths you should stop believing ASAP.
See an 'H' or 'L' on Your Weather Map? Expect...
Here's why skies always turn stormy when low pressure comes around, and sunny when high pressure returns.
Stability definition. Weather.
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.
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.
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.
Front Symbols
Test Your Knowledge of Front Symbols! Page 13.
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!
Cold Front Symbol
Cold Front Weather Map Symbol. Page 7.
Types of Meteorologists: Incident Meteorologists
A type of meteorologist known as an IMET or Incident Meteorologist is responsible for fire weather forecasting. Fire weather calls for a team of special meteorologists that carry portable weather stations to the scene of wildfires.
Do You Know What Your Forecast Is Telling You?
Weather forecasts are meant to inform the public, but they’re not always communicated in a straightforward manner. Make sure you know what your forecast is telling you.
How To Watch Clouds Form
Cloud formations in the sky can be seen as you watch clouds form over and over again. The structure of a cloud is created in a process that is small in scale, but easy to see.

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