Weather affects everything we experience – from beach days to lightning storms – shaping our world and teaching children about different kinds of weather forces at work all around them.
Long ago, people used plants and animals for an early warning about impending weather changes. Frogs croaking louder or wooly worms crawling towards the surface were believed to be signs that rain was on its way.
1. It rains in the Atacama Desert.
The Atacama Desert in northern Chile is the world’s driest nonpolar desert. Covering four countries — Chile, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina — it spans an area more than three times larger than Mojave Desert in United States. Due to its location surrounded by mountains and other environmental factors that prevent raindrops from falling onto it directly – known as “rainshadow effect”.
Atacama Desert may be one of the driest regions on Earth, yet still receives some rainfall each year despite being one of the driest places on earth. This rainfall comes not due to mountains but instead by way of Humboldt Current which transports cold Antarctic waters along Chile’s coastal region creating thermal inversions with cold air at sea level and stable warm air higher up which results in fogging or stratus clouds but not rainfall.
Scientists have researched this phenomenon, discovering that during some Atacama Desert events ten times the annual rainfall can occur within just a few hours. By tracking atmospheric pathways of storms they discovered they were linked with moisture conveyor belts.
While most of Atacama Desert’s interior remains devoid of life forms, its outer outskirts host scorpions, desert wasps and grey foxes. Furthermore, due to its high elevation and lack of clouds, Atacama is one of the premier places in the world for stargazing; therefore hosting 66 telescopes used by international science organizations. Scientists hope studying its unique conditions may shed more light on whether life might exist on other planets.
2. It snows in Antarctica.
Antarctica may be one of the coldest places on Earth, yet snow does fall from time to time despite its extreme cold temperatures. Due to millennia-old air that has not warmed above freezing levels and is therefore incapable of holding moisture to form rain or snowfall. Furthermore, strong katabatic winds blow from high elevation down towards lower areas which prevent any moisture accumulating resulting in snow which hardly ever melts instead becoming glacier ice, comprising most of Antarctica.
Blizzards don’t just bring fresh snow when they hit Antarctica – oftentimes, the winds move around old snow that has already fallen, since blizzards form when there are strong enough winds to mix different air masses together and cause movement within.
Antarctica is actually mostly desert, though it doesn’t receive as much rain as other desert locations like Sahara or Gobi. For rainfall to occur, air must be hot and moist – something Antarctica doesn’t experience due to its cold climate and katabatic winds which prevent weather fronts from passing through Antarctica regularly.
Antarctica was surprised with a surprise snowstorm this winter that could prove beneficial to its ice sheets. Scientists had long predicted that rising global temperatures would increase moisture in the atmosphere and contribute to more snowfall on Antarctica, yet until this recent event there wasn’t evidence. Brooke Medley of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory utilized laser technology to measure an ice core from Queen Maud Land Antarctica using its surface area as an indicator of water vapor content within it.
3. It rains in Hawaii.
Hawaii is famously associated with sun, sea and sand – but they also experience rain! Rainfall levels vary across islands as well as between islands within one island depending on wind patterns and presence of mountains (volcanoes).
Hawaii sees rain year-round, though winter rainfall tends to be heavier due to how its islands are situated relative to prevailing trade winds, which push moisture across the ocean surface and deliver raindrops directly over land surfaces. Rain is an integral component of tropical vegetation found throughout Hawaii that contributes to its iconic beauty.
As trade winds reach islands, they raise air and moisture to form clouds that gather together over them, dropping rain on one side – known as the windward side of an island – while rainfall from other clouds lands on another side known as leeward side of an island.
Mauka showers, or short-lived rain storms, often fall in valleys and on steep mountain cliffs where they soak into the ground and form rainbows before rapidly dissipating back into sunshine. These rainshowers are known as mauka showers but generally last only temporarily.
Rainfall tends to increase during the winter, so it’s wise to bring along an umbrella and waterproof shoes if hiking or biking on any of Hawaii’s Islands. Furthermore, since rain showers tend to be localized due to Hawaii being a volcanic archipelago with numerous microclimates, an umbrella and waterproof shoes may still come in handy!
4. It rains in Alaska.
Alaska’s climate can be more varied than you might imagine. Anchorage on the coast tends to be much warmer than cities like Chicago or Minneapolis due to ocean currents; on the other hand, interior areas without access to salt water may experience freezing temperatures that don’t subside through ocean currents. On a positive note though, snow is generally rare here and generally falls dry (so no worries about falling onto slippery ice!).
Winter temperatures typically range from the lowest temperatures in January down to the mildest ones in March, with occasional drizzle but no major downpours occurring throughout.
Alaska is also notable for being extremely windy, which can make temperatures fluctuate rapidly from warm and sunny to freezing quickly.
Alaska is generally best visited between June and mid-August, as this period generally enjoys sunny and warm conditions; however, rain showers have occurred occasionally throughout this time.
Alaska has long been associated with rain, but this misconception simply isn’t accurate. While there may be periods of intense precipitation, Alaska also offers ample sunshine days – making it an excellent destination for anyone wanting to soak in nature’s beauty and all its wonders. Just bring along an umbrella, you never know when the heavens might open! For more information about Alaska’s weather visit National Weather Service’s website and listen to a podcast featuring two meteorologists working there discussing their work!
5. It rains in the Philippines.
The Philippines are home to a tropical and maritime climate just above the equator, boasting hot summers and rainy seasons as well as high humidity. Weather patterns in this tropical nation are determined by an Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) which travels north during Northern Hemisphere summers and south during winters; as such, their climate can often be unpredictable.
During the summer months in the Philippines, rain falls nearly every day–although some regions don’t experience as much. These rains typically arrive as downpours and thunderstorms with heavy downpours lasting only minutes at most. Humidity makes matters even hotter during these months!
If you’re planning a trip to the Philippines, try to avoid traveling during its rainy season from June to September. Typhoons can strike at any time so be mindful of local weather reports and be flexible with plans if necessary.
Philippines weather typically transitions out of rainy season in October and remains warm and humid, although it should be noted that some parts of the country experience rain all year-round – particularly areas exposed to northeast winds such as eastern Luzon or smaller islands exposed to northeast winds; it may be possible to find some days with cooler conditions in December and February brought by Asiatic monsoon; these conditions are affected by orography, ITCZ location and the Asian monsoon; climate in Philippines is very variable but typically warm and sunny throughout its existence; climate in Philippines is highly variable but warm and sunny year round compared with that found elsewhere; although certain parts are exposed to northeast winds such as eastern Luzon or some smaller islands exposed to northeast winds such as eastern Luzon which experience all-year round rainfall due to Asiatic monsoon influencer.