Learn the ins and outs of weather with these interesting facts about weather systems like thunderstorms and lightning! From thunderstorms to lightning bolts, there’s much more you may not know about.
There are 13 distinct forms of storms, ranging from tornadoes, squalls, gales and dust devils to tornadoes, squalls, gales and dust devils. Precipitation forms such as snowfall, hail or rain also occur frequently.
1. The sun is the primary source of energy
The Sun provides energy that warms our planet, drives hydrologic cycles, and is our primary source of energy. Additionally, the sun emits radiative energy in electromagnetic waves in visible light (43%), near-infrared radiation (49%), ultraviolet radiation (7%) and gamma rays (1%) form.
Solar energy diffuses across virtually empty space via radiation, enabling plants to utilize it for photosynthesis. Fossil fuels – formed from ancient vegetation and animal remains that were burned – also obtained their energy from sunlight; similarly wind, rain, and tidal energy all benefit from its power.
Solar storms occur when energy from the Sun is transferred to Earth via particles and magnetic fields, exciting atmosphere to excite oxygen and nitrogen molecules, which then release their energy as light – producing Aurora Borealis and Australis, visible both on Earth’s surface as well as from space.
Long ago, people relied on plants and animals for cues about the weather. Frogs croaking faster, sheep’s wool uncurling and ants lining up in rows were all good indicators of impending rainstorms. Today we rely more heavily on technology for weather predictions; but children still learn about climate in school classes – even without understanding why rain falls as an indicator.
2. The earth’s surface is warmer in some places than in others
The earth’s surface varies in temperature depending on where sunlight hits it from different angles. Direct sunlight hits most directly at the equator, heating up its surface quickly; less direct light at the poles results in cooler temperatures.
Air absorbs and disseminates solar radiation into heat. For example, when wearing a black jacket in wintertime you will feel warmer due to its ability to absorb more light, which turns into heat. Oceans and bodies of water also absorb solar radiation and become heated up.
Air molecules vary in density, which determines their forceful exertion on Earth’s surface. Warm air has lower density than cold air and therefore moves more easily; this creates wind patterns and weather systems.
Students can demonstrate this concept using styrofoam balls to represent air molecules. By showing how lower pressure molecules move more freely while higher pressure ones push down harder on Earth’s surface. After making their observations they can compare these results with an actual map to see how air pressure changes across our planet – an opportunity to discuss how early weather reports were recorded using this method and why it remains popular today.
3. The earth’s atmosphere is made up of 99% water vapor
Weather plays a pivotal role in everything we do from transportation to agriculture; yet how much do we really know about its influence? Here are some interesting weather facts:
Most atmospheric water vapor is found in the troposphere, the layer closest to Earth’s surface. This layer also accounts for most of Earth’s weather phenomena; changes in air pressure, temperature and moisture can produce unpredictable and varied weather phenomena within its realm.
Humidity levels depend directly on how much water vapor there is in the air, which varies based on both location and season. When the air feels humid, it feels heavy or sticky; and can contain small amounts of liquid water which forms clouds, fog, mist, or rain as well as frozen crystals like snow or frost. Furthermore, troposphere contains various trace gases including carbon dioxide and nitric oxide which contribute to this climate condition.
The troposphere is where most of Earth’s weather happens, and can be affected by many different factors. Additionally, this layer contains atmospheric phenomena like lightning storms, thunderclouds, tornadoes and fire whirls; lightning discharge can even spark forest fires or create other forms of destruction!
4. The earth’s atmosphere is shaped like a sphere
When we gaze upon the skies, clouds, wind, and sunshine – these phenomena are caused by Earth’s atmosphere. Shaped like a sphere with five distinct layers.
The lowest layer is known as the troposphere and is orange in hue. Next comes the stratosphere which is blue-ish while following that comes the stratosphere itself which has five layers, beginning with orange-colored troposphere, blue-ish stratosphere, mesosphere (dark green in hue), thermosphere (yellow-ish hued), mesosphere and thermosphere respectively before finally the exosphere and purple-toned mesosphere; mesosphere being coldest part of atmosphere due to jets/balloons not reaching it from above!). Jets/balloons cannot reach that far; jets/ballons cannot access that far; jets/ balloons cannot reach this high, making mesosphere study difficult or otherwise accessible due to jets/balloons not reaching that far; mesosphere study difficulties due to jets/ balloons being unable to accessing that high.
The world’s heaviest hailstone ever recorded weighed in at 1.0 kg (2.25 lb). It was discovered in Gopalganj District, Bangladesh on April 14, 1986 and found during a lightning storm. Lightning storms are intense electrical discharges in the atmosphere that can be so powerful they cause earth quakes, cracked pavement and buildings to burn; they have even killed people! Although different clouds exist; cumulus, stratus and cirrus clouds are the most frequently seen ones; scientists have documented over 400,000 individual snowflakes!
5. The earth’s atmosphere is made up of a thin layer of air
The Earth’s atmosphere is composed of a thin layer of air surrounding our planet. This atmosphere contains nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, water vapor and other gases as well as tiny particles from liquid and solid sources that contribute to making Earth suitable for life.
The troposphere is the lowest and densest layer of Earth’s atmosphere, stretching from its surface up to about 9 km (5.6 mi; 18,000 feet). This layer is where most weather occurs as its air changes frequently – warm air rises, while cool air sinks causing turbulent currents to circulate. Cloud formation takes place here along with thunderstorms and lightning storms occurring within its confines.
One fascinating aspect of Earth’s atmosphere is that it contains ozone gas – an organic compound composed of three oxygen atoms – which absorbs some of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation and protects Earth’s surface from damage from solar UV radiation.
The stratosphere reaches 50 kilometers (30 miles). Here, temperatures increase with altitude; most weather events take place here as wind, as well as being the primary location for water vapor production and where nitric oxide, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide exist.
6. The earth’s atmosphere is shaped like a circle
There’s much to discover when it comes to our Earth’s atmosphere, from how it appears from space to the role water vapor plays and more – not forgetting all the surprising weather facts that await discovery!
An amazing and intriguing fact about weather conditions on Earth is its circular atmosphere. This occurs because sunlight heats the equator more than its poles, with this effect also being affected by its spin around our planet causing airflow to flow in a consistent pattern around its planet, creating our familiar weather patterns.
Raindrops don’t resemble teardrops – instead they look more like hamburger buns. This phenomenon, called the Coriolis effect, causes currents in the atmosphere to deviate from their usual path as they travel long distances around the planet – leading to large-scale weather patterns like trade winds as a result of this effect.
The Earth is a storm factory, producing monsoons, hurricanes or typhoons, tornadoes and blizzards on an almost daily basis due to unequal heating between equator and poles that produces incredible amounts of energy from these storms. Furthermore, Earth’s rotation plays an integral part in how our weather varies over time; lightning often strikes at specific spots (the Empire State Building gets hit 23 times per year for instance!) making learning about weather such an exciting and captivating subject! That is why studying weather is always fascinating!