Look outside your window. What do you see? Is it sunny, cloudy or is it raining? All these questions form a part of what we call ‘weather’. It influences our daily life. Before planning any activity, we check the forecast. If there’s a prediction about rain, we carry our umbrellas. If it is hot, we might plan on going for a swim. Let’s find out more about it, what affects it, and why it is important!
What is Weather?
The day-to-day atmospheric condition of a particular geographical area, with respect to factor such as temperature, humidity, wind speed etc, is the weather of the area. At any given moment, for a place it may be sunny, rainy, cloudy, humid, dry and so on. Weather helps to maintain the equilibrium of the atmosphere. It may be mild, moderate or severe. Sometimes, the conditions become extreme and cause a lot of destruction and damage, even loss of life. This type of weather is severe weather.
It is a complex phenomenon that can change anytime. One second it may be raining, but suddenly, the sun will come out and it will stop raining and thus, it is difficult to predict. The daily temperatures are measured. We record the maximum and minimum temperatures. For this, a special instrument is used. This instrument is the ‘Maximum-Minimum Thermometer’. The rainfall is also measured.
‘Rain Guage’, is a special instrument used for measuring the rainfall, also known as ‘Omreometer’. It measures rainfall in millimeters or centimeters. ‘Anemometer’ measures the wind speed and direction and ‘Hygrometer’ measures the humidity and water vapor content.
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What Constitutes Weather?
What are its constituents?
- Temperature: The degree or intensity of heat
- Humidity: The amount of water vapor in the atmosphere
- Wind Speed: The speed and direction of the wind
What Factors Affect Weather?
The sun causes all the changes in the weather. The sun is a huge ball of gases at a very high temperature that radiates heat energy. Even though the sun is 150 million kilometers away from the earth, its heat still reaches us and is the only natural source of light on our planet. Therefore, the sun is the primary source of energy of the Earth.
This energy from the sun plays a key role in affecting the conditions of a place. The energy absorbed and reflected by the earth’s surface, oceans and the atmosphere determine the weather and gases such as carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapor also play a role in changing it.
Question For You
Q. Weather prediction helps in:
a. Changing the weather b. Planning an event
c. Saving people’s life d. Both B and C
Sol: d. Both B and C
Weather forecasting/prediction is the application of science and technology to predict the conditions of the atmosphere for a given location and time. Accurate predictions are important for planning our day-to-day activities. Prediction/forecasting helps us to make more informed daily decisions, and may even help keep us out of danger. Since outdoor activities are severely curtailed by heavy rain, snow and wind chill, forecasts can be used to plan activities around these events and to plan ahead and survive them.