What is Weather?

Learn about the whys and hows of our Earth system

What is weather? You’ve come to the right place. Welcome to an all-new section of The Weather Station Experts we like to call Weather 101. Here, you’ll find answers to common weather questions we hear from readers. We’re always posting new educational content, so keep checking back frequently!

Got an idea for something you’d like us to cover? Send us a message! But before we get started, let’s quickly define what weather is.

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What is weather?

Weather, in general terms, is the state of the atmosphere at a certain place and time. Weather changes over time due to various influences – whether it be day-to-day or seasonally based. We see the weather all around us every single day! Depending on where you are located, you will experience different types of weather conditions regularly throughout the year.

Weather is usually described by the changes in humidity, air pressure, temperature, precipitation (rain or snow), visibility, and wind speed. Weather conditions are different based on what your location is like – whether it be an urban environment with many buildings/trees blocking certain winds, to a large area open field without obstructions where you might experience different weather.

What is the difference between weather and climate? Learn about the difference here!

Weather can have a large impact on our daily activities – whether you are planning an outdoor activity for the weekend, or if your plans change because of high winds/rain in the forecast (and it would be unsafe to do certain things). There is also global weather that can affect thousands of people at once! For example, a hurricane or heavy snowfall will affect many people.

Weather is an interesting thing to study, and there are also different types of meteorology (the scientific term for the “study of weather”). Weather changes every moment – around us, above us, below us! It can be sunny one second then rainy the next without any warning.

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Can I forecast the weather myself?

Yes, you can forecast the weather yourself! There are different ways of doing it – whether you use a home barometer or an app on your phone. You will need to know how to interpret what each measure means and then determine what conditions might be like based on that information (Do I need to bring an umbrella? Will it be sunny out for my bike ride?). One way to do it is by purchasing a weather station.

Why are weather stations important?

Many of the ways we communicate how the weather is are measurements: temperature, humidity, winds, and so on. These things are measured by a weather station.

Weather is also variable, even across small distances. The more weather stations in an area, the better picture meteorologists have of what the weather is doing at a local level.

Is meteorology difficult to learn?

Like any science, meteorology is a complex subject. A solid science and math background, especially in physics and calculus, is necessary to do well.

However, you don’t have to study meteorology to appreciate the science. There’s an abundance of resources out there to learn about how the weather works. That’s why we thought a section devoted to helping you understand the weather would be helpful.

Let’s get started.

How Tos

Need some help setting up your weather station? Want our expert opinion on how to improve air quality? This section of our site is for you.

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Weather Station Manuals

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5 Weather Station Mounting Ideas

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Weather Station Maintenance

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How to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Weather, Ranked

Everybody likes a good top 10 list, right? We’ve done the research on various locations and events, and came up with some top 10s of our own. Is Chicago really “The Windy City?” What’s the snow capital of the United States? Find out below.

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What is the Rainiest City in the US?

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The Top 10 Warmest US Cities

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The Top 10 Coldest US Cities

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10 Windiest US Cities

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The Sunniest US Cities

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The Top 10 Snowiest US Cities

Weather Glossary

Weather is a complex topic, so the question “what is weather” is a bit too general. We want to help you learn more about how weather works, and that’s why we’ve created our own weather glossary. How does lightning form? What makes a blizzard a blizzard? That’s the kind of questions you’ll find answered here.

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What is an Atmospheric River?

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Types of Fronts

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What is Sleet?

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What is a Nor’easter?

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Cloud Types Guide

Common Weather Warnings

Just bought a weather radio? This section is for you. Under an Ice Storm Warning and don’t know what it means? What should you do to prepare for flooding when a flash flood watch is issued? We explain them below.

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What is a Tornado Watch?

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What is a Flash Flood Watch?

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What is a Blizzard Warning?

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What is a High Wind Warning?

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What is an Ice Storm Warning?

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What is a Hurricane Local Statement?

Other Resources We Like

We also wanted to share some other resources that we like to help you learn more about the weather. Here are our favorites:

The Weather Station Experts participates in Amazon Associates and other affiliate programs and may receive a commission from clicking on links on our site.