Water & The Weather.


I AM THAT I AM LOVES ME. Proverbs 8:17
Earth Science. Biblical. 



Water & the Weather.
Copyright (C) by Noelene Rout 26th June 2007 All rights reserved.

Weather happens in the troposphere which is the lowest part of the atmosphere. The atmosphere is a blanket of gases which surround the earth. The second, third and fourth layers of the atmosphere are called, the stratosphere, the ionosphere, and the exosphere.

What is weather?
Weather is the temperature and daily state of the atmosphere upon the earth.

What makes the weather.
The sun makes the weather. The sun is a fiery ball of burning gases in space. The heat of the sun warms the earth, and the surface of the waters upon the earth and causes liquid water to change into a gas and become part of the atmosphere which is continually being whirled about by the heat, and the absence of the heat, of the sun.

Clouds are made by the sun with water vapour and dust. The vapour is caused to rise into the atmosphere from water that is broken apart upon the earth by the heat of the sun, the water vapour is cooled and condenses around particles of dust and forms droplets of water which grow into clouds. Clouds of vapour and dust float within the air. Wind is moving air. Clouds of vapour and dust are moved around in the blanket of gases which surround the earth, by the wind. Clouds drop rain, hail, and snow upon the earth.

Within a cloud rain frequently starts as snow, but as the snow passes through warmer air below, the snow melts and falls as rain. Within thick clouds snow forms from ice crystals. Within thick clouds falling ice crystals join together and become snowflakes. Snowflakes that reach the ground as snow have fallen through cold air. When a mixture of snow and rain are falling, the snow has fallen through warm air. Snowflakes have six sides. Snowflakes form from crystals of ice that have melted and frozen together. When it is very cold the snow that falls is dry and powdery because it cannot melt and join together with other snow. Skiers ski on dry powdery snow. High in the mountains piles of compressed snow join together and become slippery ice. When dry powdery snow falls on this slippery ice, the snow and the ice cannot stick together, so the snow builds up into piles, which slide down the side of a mountain as an avalanche. An avalanche is a pile of falling lose snow.

Hailstones are made in cumulonimbus thunder clouds. Raging winds blow up and down within giant cumulonimbus thunderclouds because different parts of the clouds have different temperatures. Water droplets freeze into ice at the top of the cloud and are partially melted, they then fall to the bottom of the cloud, where the raging winds blow them back to the top of the cloud to be frozen again, and again, which causes the hail to increase in size. When a hailstone is too big and too heavy to kept up in the cloud, the hailstone falls to the ground.

The next time it hails at your place, get your daddy to put a big hailstone in the fridge to stop it from melting. Get a magnifying glass and get your daddy to cut the hailstone in half, look at the hailstone through your magnifying glass, can you see the layers of ice that formed as the hailstone was thrown up and down in the cloud. Now look up into the sky, that stone came from way up there on high.

Sleet is snow that partially melts before it touches the ground.

Showers come from heaped (cumuliform) clouds.

Drizzle falls gently from low and layered clouds. Drizzle falls for quite a long time. The size of a drizzle droplet is 0.2 millimetres.

Raindrops fall from altostratus (thick layered) clouds in the middle of the sky. Heavy downpours of rain that last for a long time fall from nimbostratus (dark and low layered) clouds. Short down pours of rain come from cumulous (heaps of dark gray) clouds. The cumulous cloud is the main type of rain cloud, when the cumulous cloud is quickly blown away it takes the rain away with it. Before it starts to rain there is usually a drop in the temperature and you start to feel cold.

Cumulonimbus clouds are huge black clouds that tower high up into the sky. The cumulonimbus cloud brings storms with heavy rain, hail, snow, thunder, lightning and, wind.

Layered clouds.
Long periods of rain come from layered (stratiform) clouds.

Raindrop. The size of a raindrop is about 2 millimetres.

Rainbows happen when the angle of the sun causes its rays of light to shine through falling drops of rain. Light is split up into the spectrum (colours of the rainbow) as it passes through raindrops in the sky. A continuous bow of colour appears when there are lots of raindrops falling through the sky.

Dry microburst.
When a column of rain suddenly falls into dry air, the quick evaporation of the rain causes the air beneath the cloud to cool, and a powerful downward wind is produced by the heavy sinking air. The wind hits the earth and blows for around 20 minutes reaching speeds of up to 130 miles per hour as it spreads out across the ground.

During a wet microburst heavy rain falls in large amounts and reaches the ground with a downdraught, the rain and the wind strike the ground with such a force that they cause a windshear. (wind to move out in sideway directions). Microbursts are likely to happen when the temperature at the level of the ground is different from the temperature in the air.

Monsoons happen in places that receive lots of their yearly rainfall in a short period of time.
In India, hot dry spells are broken by seasonal winds that bring heavy monsoonal rain.

Studying the weather.
Meteorologists are people who use satellites to study the formations of clouds. Meteorologists use images from satellites to obtain information about the types of clouds that are forming over areas, and about the type of behaviour that might be expected from those clouds. Satellites can detect a storm as it is developing above the sea. Meteorologists can tell what is going on inside of a cloud, what the different temperatures are within the cloud, and forecast future weather patterns by looking at the color coded messages which are beamed to them from satellites in space. Meteorologists warn people about approaching bad weather.

Meteorologists work at Weather stations where information is collected about the weather.

Radar is used by weather watchers to bounce waves off clouds in order to see where storms are, and which way they are travelling. Weather watchers use radar to follow storms from the sea to the land, this enables them to predict the weather conditions the storm will produce. A warning of a violent hurricane that is forming over the sea can save many lives. Meteorologists can tell if a thunderstorm is going to turn into a hurricane by watching out for signs of rotation within the cloud.

Flood warnings.
Rainfall is studied at the start of a river, the amount of water that is flowing by is noted, and the amount of water in every part of the river is measured, this information is then used to predict flooding further down the river. Snowfall is also monitored because lots of falling snow can melt and cause avalanches and floods which destroy peoples lives. People who are warned about future dangerous weather can take the necessary steps to protect their homes and lives.

Humidity is a word that is used to describe how much water is in the air. When the air is significantly humid rain will fall. Fog and clouds form when the air is humid. Humidity is the amount of water vapour that is in the air. It is measured on a scale from zero to one hundred. The higher the figure the more water vapour there is in the air. When the air is humid the paper within the pages of books can be dampened, the dampening of the pages can destroy the books.When the air is hot and humid we feel uncomfortable.

Special lines on a weather map are called isobars. Isobars link areas with the same air pressure. Isobars with curved symbols along them show a warm front. Isobars with triangular symbols along them show a cold front. The edge of a large body of air is called a front. The edge of an approaching warm front is high in the sky. Fronts produce changes in the weather. The approach of a warm front is signalled by high feathery cirrus clouds. The feathery clouds change into cirrostratus clouds which spread out in the sky, the warm approaching moist air is pushed up into the sky by the cold air until it is cooled, altostratus and nimbus clouds then form and they bring the rain.

Cold fronts.
Cold fronts curve up from the ground producing clouds that change from cirrus to cirrostratus, to altocumulous, and cumulonimbus the thundercloud which produces the heavy rain and violent storms. Cold air pushing into warm air produces cumulonimbus clouds which bring lots of preciption (rain, hail, and or snow).

Droughts are declared when there is little or no rainfall at all. During droughts supplies of water dy up, and plants are destroyed. Governments restrict the amount of water that people use during droughts. During droughts people and their livestock can die of starvation and thirst. In order for it to rain during a drought there must be water vapour in the air, and particles of dust around which the water vapour can condense. There is lots of water vapour in the air above tropical forests of trees.

Familiar sayings about the weather.
Red sky at night, shepherds delight.

Red sky in the morning, shepherds warning.

When fog hops up the mountain, rain drops down the mountain,

Mountains in the morning, fountains in the evening.

Air pressure. Weight of the air pressing down upon the surface of the earth.
Altocumulous. Heaps of white or gray clouds in the middle of the sky.
Altostratus. Thick layered clouds in the middle of the sky.
Atmosphere. The blanket of gases which surround the earth. The gases are held in place by gravity.
Avalanche. Rapidly falling ice, rock and snow. Usually down the sides of a mountain.
Cirrus. Thin and high, feathery clouds made of ice.
Cirrostratus. Thin transparent clouds of ice crystals high in the sky.
Climate. The usual weather that happens over long periods in a particular area.
Condense. The changing of water vapour into drops of liquid which attach themselves to particles of dust in the air.
Cumuliform. Heaped cloud with a dark horizontal base.
Cumulonimbus. Anvil shaped cloud which towers high up into the sky.
Cumulus. Flat bottomed white, or dark and gray heaped clouds low in the sky.
Drought. Long period of time with little, or no rain.
Fog. Ground level cloud of water droplets.
Flood. Rivers of water flooding the land.
Front. Front edges of meeting masses of warm and cool air.
Humidity. The amount of water vapour that is in the air.
Meteorologist. A meteorologist is a person who studies and collects information about the weather.
Monsoon. Heavy seasonal rain.
Nimbus. Dark gray rain or storm cloud.
Nimbostratus. Heavy dark, low layered clouds that produce rain or snow.
Radar. Radio signals used to study objects and their distance.
Satellite. A device that orbits the earth. The moon is the earths satellite.
Spectrum. The colours of light. (the rainbow).
Stratiform. Layered clouds.
Water Cycle. The movement of water from the earth to the air and back again.
Water vapour. The gaseous form of water.
Windshear. Wind that moves out in sideway directions.