WEATHER

Weather is what is happening in the atmosphere now, at any place on Earth’s surface. It includes the temperature and whether it is wet and windy, or dry and calm.

WHAT CAUSES THE WEATHER?

The Sun provides the energy that drives Earth’s weather. The Sun heats the air in various parts of Earth’s atmosphere by different amounts. Masses of warm and cold air then move from place to place, creating winds. Winds bring sunny, wet, or stormy conditions. People find out the type of weather to expect in a FORECAST.

FORECASTS

A weather forecast is a prediction of weather conditions over a particular area, either for a few days (called a short-range forecast), or for several weeks (called a long-range forecast). The people who study the weather and make weather forecasts are called meteorologists.

WHY DO WE NEED WEATHER FORECASTS?

Weather forecasts help people to plan—what to wear, when to travel, or which products to stock in supermarkets. Forecasts are especially important for farmers, builders, sailors, and anyone else who works outdoors. Sometimes an accurate forecast may mean the difference between life and death.

HOW DO EXPERTS PREDICT THE WEATHER?

Meteorologists receive information about air temperature, wind speeds, clouds, and rainfall from over 50,000 weather stations worldwide—on land and on ships and buoys at sea. The data is fed into huge computers that produce charts and forecasts. These are used, with satellite images, to predict the weather.

HOW DO WEATHER SATELLITES WORK?

Weather satellites carry two types of sensors. An imager takes photographs of movements in Earth’s atmosphere. A sounder reads the temperature of the air and clouds.

FIND OUT MORE

Atmosphere
Climate
Rain
Winds

Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley

highlights

7 Tips to Childproof Your Smartphone
Before you hand over your smartphone or tablet, follow these childproofing tips to help keep both your child and your device safe.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books!
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our new Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme, and create reading lists for kids!

11 Survival Tips for Summer Boredom
When the kids are home all day, every day, summer boredom strikes hard and fast. Learn the best summer boredom busters for children of all ages.

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks