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Transcript of Weather
Meterology: The Study of Weather
The weather changes from season to season. Each year begins in winter, which brings snow and colder weather. Spring then melts the snow and flowers bloom with plenty of rain. Summer comes with hot, generally dry days. Autumn follows summer with cooler temperatures and leaves begin to fall in preparation for winter again.
Clouds are formations of condensed water vapors floating in the atmosphere. There are high, middle, and low level clouds and the level that the cloud is floating in determines the type of cloud formation. There are also vertical development clouds that contain large amounts of energy.
Tornadoes, Hurricanes, Thunder Storms, Blizzard, Hail Storms, Wind Storms, Typhoon (hurricane in Pacific), Monsoon,
Atmospheric pressure determines the type of weather on Earth. Atmospheric pressure is measured using a Barometer which uses mercury in a vertical glass, the mercury drops when the air pressure falls and it rises when the air pressure increases. Low pressure systems mean that the atmospheric pressure is lower than the area surrounding it. Low pressure usually causes high winds, warm air, and bad weather such as hurricanes and tropical storms. High atmospheric pressure means that the higher air cools and becomes dense as it moves towards the ground. High pressure creates clear skies and calm weather.
Meteorology is the science of the atmosphere. Anciet Greeks studied the clouds, winds, and rain to understand how they are connected to one another. Just like their society was effected by the weather, so is our society and environment. Meterologists use many tools to predict the weather.
Weather satellites use radiometers that scan the Earth to form images. The radiometers have a small telescope or antenna, a scanning mechanism, and one or more detectors that detect either visible, infrared, or microwave radiation for the purpose of monitoring weather systems around the world.
Freezing rain develops when falling snow encounters a layer of warm air and melts into rain. The rain then falls into a layer of cold air and cools to a temperature below freezing, but the raindrop itself does not freeze. When the supercooled drops hit the ground they instantly freeze and form a thin layer of ice. Freezing rain is the most dangerous form of precipation because it can cause car accidents, power outages and injuries.
Hail is a large, frozen raindrop that is made during intense thunderstorms where snow and rain can exist at the same time in the updraft of the storm. When a snowflake falls, water freezes onto it forming an ice pellet that can grow larger as it falls and collects more water. The hailstone forms as ice because it is not in the warm air below a thunderstorm to melt before hitting the ground.
Snowflakes are ice crystals that collect to each other as they fall toward the surface. Since snowflakes do not pass through a layer of warm air, they do not melt and fall to the surface as snow.
Rain develops when cloud droplets become too heavy to remain in the cloud and fall to the surface as raindrops. Rain can also begin as an ice crystal that melts when falling from the freezing level of the atmosphere into warmer air and therefore becomes a raindrop.
Sleet is a frozen raindrop that bounces when it hits the ground. Much like freezing rain, sleet can make surfaces very slick but it is different because it is easily visible.
Meteorologists use radars to detect different types and the location of weather. Radars send out radio waves from an antenna, which then detects objects in the air, such as raindrops, snow crystals, and hailstones. The radar then converts the reflected radio waves into pictures, showing the location and intensity of the precipitation.
Airplanes equipped with weather instruments can locate and gather information on tropical storms, hurricanes, and winter storms that might be a threat to people in the United States and around the world. Some airplanes are even able to fly into the eye of a hurricane or tropical storm to collect data on the weather system.
When cloud particles become too heavy to stay suspended in the air, they fall to the earth in the form of precipitation. There are many forms of precipitation, including rain, freezing rain, hail, sleet, and snow.
Thunderstorms can produce many types of damaging weather such as lightning, hail, tornadoes, and flooding. The most damaging aspects of thunderstorms can be wind, hail, and lightning, causing fires and exterior damage to homes.
Tornadoes create high winds and has been recorded to exceed 300 miles per hour. The high winds can cause a lot of damage as debris is flown through the air. Most tornado damage happens in "Tornado Alley" located in parts of the United States, such as Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, and Missouri.
Ice storms produce freezing rain that covers everything in a thin layer of ice. If a storm causes accumulation of more than a quarter inch on exposed surfaces, it is categorized as an ice storm.
Blizzards are severe storms that come with heavy snowfall, high winds, and freezing temperatures. The combination of cold, snow, and wind can cause damage to homes and businesses including roof collapses from the weight of the snow.
High level clouds form above 20,000 feet and they are usually composed of ice crystals since the temperatures at such a high level are very cold. These clouds are usually thin and white, but can reflect many different colors when the sun is setting.
High level clouds include:
High Level Clouds
The base of mid-level clouds usually appear between 6,500 to 20,000 feet. These clouds are usually made of water droplets and can be mostly ice crystals if the temperatures are cold enough.
Mid-Level clouds include:
Low level clouds are typically made of water droplets and float below 6,500 feet. When temperatures are cold enough, these clouds can contain ice particles and snow.
Low Level Clouds include:
Low Level Clouds
Vertical development clouds are usuallly associated with thunderstorms. They are dark clouds that can grow to heights of 39,000 feet. They are charged with electricity that creates lightning and can release large amounts of precipitation.
Vertical Development Clouds include:
Fair Weather Cumulus
Vertical Development Clouds
Hurricanes are the most powerful type of tropical storms bringing heavy rainfall, extremely high winds, and storm surges. Hurricanes that make landfall can cause extensive damage as seen with Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana and Sandy in New Jersey.
Lightning causes damage through wildfires and structure fires in many ways as lightning strikes trees, buildings, and the ground. It can also cause power outages if there are strikes to power lines or if a strike causes a tree to fall on a power line. Heat lightning can also remain in clouds during very hot nights and does not create thunder because of the height of the clouds.