What is Weather? Welcome to WeatherEd!

What is weather? You’ve come to the right place. Welcome to a section of The Weather Station Experts we like to call WeatherEd (short for Weather in Education). Here, you’ll find answers to common weather questions we hear from readers, as well as useful (and fact-verified) content useful for teachers and educators. We’re always posting new educational content, so keep checking back frequently!

Got an idea for something you’d like us to cover? A teacher or educator teaching Earth Sciences in the classroom? Send us a message! But before we get started, let’s quickly define what weather is.

what is weather - rain on umbrella

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.

weather station in backyard

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.

improve indoor air qualityImage Credit: sutichak - stock.adobe.com

How to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Acurite weather station close upImage Credit: The Weather Station Experts

Weather Station Maintenance

Weather Station ManualsImage Credit: Adobe Stock

Weather Station Manuals

cloud types blog headerImage Credit: kpeggphoto – stock.adobe.com

How to Identify Cloud Types

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.

Fairbanks Alaska from the University of Alaska FairbanksImage Credit: Gary Whitton - stock.adobe.com

The Top 10 Coldest US Cities

downtown Chicago windiest us citiesImage Credit: Mirma - stock.adobe.com

10 Windiest US Cities

Cook Strait New Zealand windiest places on earthImage Credit: Marc Jedamus - stock.adobe.com

What is the Windiest Place on Earth?

rain in hawaii, one of the wettest us statesImage Credit: Alex Krassel - stock.adobe.com

The Top 10 Wettest US States

view of Miami beach in Florida, the warmest state in the USImage Credit: miami2you - stock.adobe.com

The 10 Warmest States in the US

huntingdon beach, california - states with the best weatherImage Credit: Jon Bilous - stock.adobe.com

The 10 States With the Best Weather Year Round

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.

realfeel temperatureImage Credit: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

What is the RealFeel Temperature?

microburstImage Credit: Kyle - stock.adobe.com

What is a Microburst?

outflow boundary shelf cloudImage Credit: Jennewein Photo - stock.adobe.com

What is an Outflow Boundary?

types of fronts weather map header imageImage Credit: Petrovich12 - stock.adobe.com

Types of Fronts

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.

Hurricane Florence in 2018 during an above average atlantic hurricane seasonImage Credit: elroce - stock.adobe.com

What is a Hurricane Watch?

tropical storm watch - satellite of tropical storm nicoleImage Credit: NOAA

What is a Tropical Storm Watch?

Tornado forming over rural landscape with wind turbines.Image Credit: Minerva Studio - stock.adobe.com

What is a Tornado Watch?

flash floodImage Credit: Austin Broadbent - stock.adobe.com

What is a Flash Flood Watch?

blizzard in new york cityImage Credit: Mark Hunter - stock.adobe.com

What is a Blizzard Warning?

High Wind WarningImage Credit: Oligo - stock.adobe.com

What is a High Wind Warning?

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:

Why you can trust our recommendations

We have experience with all the products and companies we recommend here on TWSE. Our review staff includes degreed meteorologists and scientists, some of whom have owned the products they review for several years. Our staff has reviewed home weather gadgets for over a decade both on TWSE and elsewhere.

How we test

A weather station or gadget must score highly in our scoring metrics in several key areas, including accuracy, value, durability, ease of use, and feature set. We accept products for review, but we do not accept compensation in exchange for a positive review.

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