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Weather: Most Popular Articles

These articles are the most popular over the last month.
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 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 Is a Monsoon?
Monsoons are a season occurrence that can cause flash floods, deaths, and crop failures. Shifts in wind direction from incoming solar radiation are part of the reason monsoons occur.
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 Does 'Chance of Rain' Really Mean?
A chance of rain or probability of precipitation is an often misunderstood calculation in weather forecasts.
Layers of the Atmosphere: The Structure and...
Ozone is just one part of our atmosphere. With increasing focus on the ozone layer, it seems we need a tutorial on the layers of the atmosphere. This basic review will help you understand how the atmosphere produces weather.
The Shape of Raindrops
The shape of raindrops is a common weather misconception. Rain is not shaped like a teardrop. Contrary to popular belief, raindrops are shaped more like hamburger buns.
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 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.
An Introduction to Weather Map Symbols and...
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! Page 2.
Evaporation
Evaporation definition. Weather.
The 7 Types of Weather in a High Pressure System
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.
Hail
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!
The Dust Bowl - What Caused the Dust Bowl in...
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.
6 Must-Know Facts about Clouds
Clueless about clouds? These Q&As will teach you the basics of cloud behavior.
Top 10 of the Most Dangerous US States for...
Find out which states in the United States have the greatest number of lightning and thunderstorms related deaths and injuries.
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.
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.
Ambient Temperature
Ambient temperature is defined in the weather glossary.
What Is a Land Breeze?
Land Breeze. Weather.
Don't Let Spring's Arrival Fool You Into...
Ever heard of a Blackberry winter and wondered what it is?
Weird Precipitation
The expression "it's raining cats and dogs" may not be true, but it is true that stranger things have
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.
How to Survive a Blizzard
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!
Weather Map Symbols
Weather Map Symbols - Understanding Weather Maps
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.
The Fujita Scale
How tornadoes form is a common question that has not fully been answered by the scientific community as of yet. Page 6.
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.
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.
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.
How Does a Hygrometer 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.
Demonstrate 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.
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.
Global Warming Vs. Climate Change
Global Warming Vs. Climate Change - What is the difference?
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.
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.
Torrential Rain
Torrential rain definition in the weather glossary at About.com.
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.
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?
Graupel is a type of precipitation often referred to as snow pellets or soft hail.
Tropical Cyclones - 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.
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.
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.
Tropical Air
Tropical air is a weather term used to describe air formed in regions where the temperature is warm, such as the equator.
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.
Source Region
Source region of an air mass - definition.
Hurricane Season
Hurricane season is defined in the weather glossary.
Space Tornadoes
Space tornadoes. Weather.
Why Do 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.
Warm Fronts
Warm front definition. Weather.
The Jet Stream
The Jet Stream - A Weather Guide Definition including a full indexed photo weather glossary.
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.
What is the Difference Between Weather and...
The difference between weather and climate is easy to describe. Find out the difference between weather versus climate in this essay.
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.
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.
Maritime Air Mass
Maritime Air Mass. Weather.
Occluded Fronts
Occluded fronts are a type of front or frontal boundary. There are warm occlusions and cold occlusions.
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.
Beaufort Wind Scale
The intensity of wind is commonly measured using the Beaufort Wind Intensity Scale. Page 10.
Altocumulus Cloud - Weather Definition
Altocumulus cloud definition and photo including related weather terms in a full indexed weather photo glossary.
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.
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?
Continental Air Mass
Continental Air Mass. Weather.
Name That Weather Front Symbol
weather maps symbols fronts cold warm occluded stationary stationery
Continental Air
Continental Air definition and photo including related weather terms in a full indexed weather photo glossary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Front
Fronts or frontal boundaries definition
The Atmosphere
Without the atmosphere, our planet would not only be lifeless, but there would be no weather! Find out why.
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?
Cold Front Symbol
Cold Front Weather Map Symbol. Page 7.
Wind Gusts
Wind gust definition in the weather glossary.
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!
Weather Symbols Summary
Summary of meteorological weather symbols used for weather station reporting. Page 9.
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.
Muggy
Muggy weather is a common term used to describe particular weather conditions associated with humid air.
Top 10 Free Tornado Videos - See the Power of a...
Catch these high speed storm chaser videos as you get up close and personal with one of the worst natural disasters in weather. It is the tornado. 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!
Stability
Stability definition. Weather.
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.
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.
Warm Fronts Movement
Warm fronts and the movements associated with cold air masses. Page 2.
Top 10 Deadliest Tornadoes
A list of the top 10 deadliest tornadoes in the United States.
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.
Stationary Fronts
Stationary fronts are shown in this guide to weather map symbols. Page 6.
Top 7 Stories from Hurricane Katrina to Make...
The devastation of Katrina will leave few to doubt that hurricanes are one of nature’s most destructive forces. Here, victims and rescue workers tell their tales of heroism and survival.
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
Virga
Virga. Weather.
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.
Flood Facts and Statistics
The Flood Fact File for interesting and little=known statistics on floods.
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.
Earth's Seasons
Explore the science behind winter, spring, summer, and fall.
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.
Auroras - Northern and Southern Lights
Auroras are caused by the interaction of earth's magnetic field with particles from the sun. This tutorial will show you the ways the sun creates these beautiful colors in the sky and where you can see them tonight! Page 5.
Climatologist
Climatologist definition and job responsibilities
Supercell Thunderstorms
Supercell thunderstorm definition in the weather glossary.
Ice Fog
Ice fog - Pogonip definition. Weather.
Cloud Condensation Nuclei
Cloud Condensation Nuclei. Weather.
Condensation & Evaporation
What are condensation and evaporation, and how do they shape our weather?
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! Learn the weather terms from your local news channel as you learn to prepare for lake effect snow storm squalls!
Knot
Knots. Weather.
The Diurnal Cycle
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.
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!
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.
Pogonip
Pogonip - ice fog definition. Weather.
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.
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.
What is a Low Pressure Area?
The basics of low pressure areas are discussed, including their importance in producing storms.
Heat Wave
A definition of heat wave, including its history and dangers. Click through our list of suggested readings to learn even more.
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!
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.
Weather Station Symbols
Using a weather station reporting model, you will understand the ways meteorologists reprt weather data across the country. Page 4.
Hurricane Safety
Hurricane activities and interactive lessons are. Page 4.
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.
Palmer Index US Dust Bowl Map
The Palmer Drought Index details the areas across the United States that were the hardest hit in the 1930s during the Dust Bowl. Lack of precipitation across much of the US lead to crop loss, deaths, and extreme temperatures. Page 5.
Yellow Snow
Yellow Snow. Weather.
How To Speak "Forecasting"
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.
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.
Top 11 Funny Weather Videos and Bloopers
Weather bloopers are not just for forecasters! Even if your local news weatherman or weatherwoman gets the 5 day forecast wrong, remember that the job is not easy! Watch some of the best bloopers worldwide!
Heat Stroke - Weather Definition
Heat stroke definition including related heat stress illnesses in a full indexed weather photo glossary.
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.
The Weather of the RMS Titanic
A look at weather conditions from Southampton to the western North Atlantic around the time of Titanic's voyage in mid-April 1912.
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.
Dryline
Dryline. Weather.
Top 10 Weather Radios and Scanners
Compare prices of weather radios designed to receive national and local weather news. Keep alert for watches and warnings with an electronic weather scanner. A weather radio could save your life in the event of severe weather such as hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, and typhoons.
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.
Overcast
Overcast skies definition in the weather glossary.
Dust Devil
A dust devil is not a true tornado but rather an atmospheric disturbance caused by convective processes.
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.
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.
Show Air Has Volume
Air takes up space and has volume. Many younger elementary school students will sometimes think air does not take up space. This simple weather lesson plans will allow teachers to demonstrate a volume of air.
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.
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.
How to ID Severe Thunderstorms on Radar
When storms are in your vicinity, watch for these colors and patterns on the radar screen. They'll allow you to identify severe thunderstorms at a glance, and to know whether or not your location is within the immediate path of danger.
Anticyclones
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 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.
Thunderstorms
Thunderstorms are small scale weather patterns resulting from the formation of cumulonimbus clouds. A storm usually builds and diminishes within 30 minutes.
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.
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.
Dew Point
Dew point temperature. Weather.
Rainbows
Rainbows are 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.
Driving in Flood Waters
Driving in flood water is dangerous. Flash flooding is a dangerous result of excessive rains in an area. Whether the area is flooded by saturated soils or river overflow, everyone should be educated on the dangers of flood waters.
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.
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.
Hyperthermia
Hyperthermia definition in the weather glossary at About.com
Warm Occlusions
Warm occlusions are a type of occluded front.
Cloud Cover Symbols
Using a station model, meteorologists report cloud cover using a series of symbols. Page 11.
Smog
Definition and resources on smog pollution
Teaching About Tsunamis
Teaching about tsunamis is an important part of any earth science course. The causes of a tsunami, safety information, and history of tsunamis are presented in a series of educational resources including tsunami lesson plans and brochures for teaching.

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