Portal:Weather

The weather portal

Weather is the state of the atmosphere, describing for example the degree to which it is hot or cold, wet or dry, calm or stormy, clear or cloudy. On Earth, most weather phenomena occur in the lowest level of the planet's atmosphere, the troposphere, just below the stratosphere. Weather refers to day-to-day temperature and precipitation activity, whereas climate is the term for the averaging of atmospheric conditions over longer periods of time. When used without qualification, "weather" is generally understood to mean the weather of Earth.

Weather is driven by air pressure, temperature, and moisture differences between one place and another. These differences can occur due to the Sun's angle at any particular spot, which varies with latitude. The strong temperature contrast between polar and tropical air gives rise to the largest scale atmospheric circulations: the Hadley cell, the Ferrel cell, the polar cell, and the jet stream. Weather systems in the middle latitudes, such as extratropical cyclones, are caused by instabilities of the jet streamflow. Because Earth's axis is tilted relative to its orbital plane (called the ecliptic), sunlight is incident at different angles at different times of the year. On Earth's surface, temperatures usually range ±40 °C (−40 °F to 100 °F) annually. Over thousands of years, changes in Earth's orbit can affect the amount and distribution of solar energy received by Earth, thus influencing long-term climate and global climate change.

Surface temperature differences in turn cause pressure differences. Higher altitudes are cooler than lower altitudes, as most atmospheric heating is due to contact with the Earth's surface while radiative losses to space are mostly constant. Weather forecasting is the application of science and technology to predict the state of the atmosphere for a future time and a given location. Earth's weather system is a chaotic system; as a result, small changes to one part of the system can grow to have large effects on the system as a whole. Human attempts to control the weather have occurred throughout history, and there is evidence that human activities such as agriculture and industry have modified weather patterns.

Studying how the weather works on other planets has been helpful in understanding how weather works on Earth. A famous landmark in the Solar System, Jupiter's Great Red Spot, is an anticyclonic storm known to have existed for at least 300 years. However, the weather is not limited to planetary bodies. A star's corona is constantly being lost to space, creating what is essentially a very thin atmosphere throughout the Solar System. The movement of mass ejected from the Sun is known as the solar wind. (Full article...)

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The sun, street light and Parallax edit.jpg

Parallax is the phenomenon of the change in the apparent position of an object when viewed from different angles. It is demonstrated nicely in this foggy scene, where the reflection of the moon appears in a different position with respect to the street lamp when viewed in the reflection in the water.

Recently selected pictures: Global snow cover, Snow flakes, Sun dogs, More...

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The weather is a set of all the phenomena occurring in a given atmosphere at a given time. Weather phenomena lie in the hydrosphere and troposphere. Weather refers to current activity, as opposed to the term climate, which refers to the average atmospheric conditions over longer periods of time. When used without qualification, "weather" is understood to be the weather of Earth. Weather occurs due to density (temperature and moisture) differences between one place to another. These differences can occur due to the sun angle at any particular spot, which varies by latitude from the tropics. The strong temperature contrast between polar and tropical air gives rise to the jet stream. Weather systems in the mid-latitudes, such as extratropical cyclones, are caused by instabilities of the jet stream flow. Because the Earth's axis is tilted relative to its orbital plane, sunlight is incident at different angles at different times of the year. On Earth's surface, temperatures usually range ±40 °C (±72 °F) annually. Over thousands to hundreds of thousands of years, changes in Earth's orbit affect the amount and distribution of solar energy received by the Earth and influence long-term climate.

Recently selected articles: Cyclogenesis, 1933 Atlantic hurricane season, More...

Did you know...

...that a hurricane force wind warning is issued by the United States National Weather Service for storms that are not tropical cyclones but are expected to produce hurricane-force winds (65 knots (75 mph; 120 km/h) or higher)?

...that the Automated Tropical Cyclone Forecasting System is a software package for tropical cyclone forecasting developed in 1988 that is still used today by meteorologists in various branches of the US Government?

...that a cryoseism is a sudden ground or glacier movement that can occur due to water freezing or ice cracking after drastic temperature changes?

...that BUFR is a binary data format standardized by the World Meteorological Organization for storing observation data from weather stations and weather satellites?

...that the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center issues weather forecasts for conditions that can cause avalanches in the mountains of western Washington and northwestern Oregon?

...that a wind chill warning is issued by the National Weather Service when a combination of wind and cold temperatures is expected to cause life-threatening conditions for anyone caught outside?

Recent and ongoing weather

This week in weather history...

November 23

1960: The TIROS-2 weather satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

November 24

1982: Hurricane Iwa, one of the strongest tropical cyclones in history to directly affect Hawaii, passed just northwest of Kauai.

November 25

2007: Typhoon Mitag made landfall in northern Luzon, Philippines, causing major flooding that killed 67 people.

November 26

1898: A powerful storm system killed over 400 people and sank 150 ships over the next two days along the coast of New England.

November 27

1701: Anders Celsius, inventor of the Celsius temperature scale used in most countries, was born in Uppsala, Sweden.

November 28

2005: The extratropical remnants of Tropical Storm Delta passed north of the Canary Islands, causing severe damage and 19 deaths.

November 29

2004: Tropical Depression Winnie, despite having only weak wind speeds, brought heavy rain which caused deadly flooding across much of the Philippines. More than 1,500 people were killed.

Selected biography

Portrait of John Dalton FRS

John Dalton FRS (/ˈdɔːltən/; 6 September 1766 – 27 July 1844) was an English chemist, physicist, and meteorologist. He is best known for introducing the atomic theory into chemistry, and for his research into colour blindness, sometimes referred to as Daltonism in his honour. (Full article...)

Previously selected biographies: Sir George Stokes, Clement Lindley Wragge, More...

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WikiProject Meteorology is a collaborative effort by dozens of Wikipedians to improve the quality of meteorology- and weather-related articles. If you would like to help, visit the project talk page, and see what needs doing.

WikiProject Severe weather is a similar project specific to articles about severe weather. Their talk page is located here.

WikiProject Tropical cyclones is a daughter project of WikiProject meteorology. The dozens of semi-active members and several full-time members focus on improving Wikipdia's coverage of tropical cyclones.

WikiProject Non-tropical storms is a collaborative project to improve articles related to winter storms, wind storms, and extratropical weather.

Wikipedia is a fully collaborative effort by volunteers. So if you see something you think you can improve, be bold and get to editing! We appreciate any help you can provide!

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