Earth Science for Kids
Weather Glossary and Terms
Anemometer - A meteorological instrument used to measure wind speed.
Barometer - A meteorological instrument used to measure the atmospheric pressure.
Blizzard - A snow storm that has winds of 35 miles per hour or more.
Climate - A pattern of weather in a region as measured over a long period of time.
Cloud - A mass of tiny water droplets floating in the atmosphere that we can see from the ground.
Cold front - A front where cold air is replacing warm air.
Coriolis effect - The effect that the Earth's rotation has on objects on Earth such as prevailing winds and ocean currents.
Depression - An area of low atmospheric pressure that is surrounded by clouds and precipitation.
Dew - Drops of water that comes from water vapor condensing on objects near the ground.
El Nino - A period of warming in the water of the Pacific Ocean near the equator.
Eye - The center of a tropical cyclone or hurricane where there is low air pressure, no clouds, and calm winds.
Flash flood - A flash flood is a flood that happens quickly (just a few hours), usually due to heavy rain.
Fog - A cloud that is low to the ground and makes it hard to see.
Front - The boundary between low and high air pressure systems.
Hail - Hail is a type of precipitation in the form of lumps of ice. It is formed in the updrafts of large thunderstorms.
High-pressure system - A region with high air pressure and cool, dry air.
Humidity - A measurement of the amount of water vapor in the air.
Hurricane - A tropical cyclone that formed in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Ice storm - An ice storm occurs when rain falls on objects and then freezes. The weight of the ice can cause damage, causing trees and power lines to fall.
Isobar - A line on a weather map that represents a given barometric pressure. All points on the line, or isobar, have the same barometric pressure.
Knot - A measure of speed most often used in the ocean. One knot equals 1.15 miles per hour.
Jet Stream - A narrow band of strong winds in the upper atmosphere.
La Nina - When the waters near the equator in the Pacific Ocean cool down.
Low-pressure system - A region with low air pressure and warm, moist air.
Meteorology - The study of the Earth's atmosphere.
Precipitation - Precipitation occurs when the condensation of water vapor causes it to fall to the Earth's surface. It can occur in many forms including rain, sleet, snow, and hail.
Prevailing winds - Winds that blow fairly consistently in the same direction over a particular area of the Earth's surface.
Rain - Precipitation that falls to the ground in the form of liquid droplets.
Snow - Frozen precipitation that falls to the ground when water vapor is turned into ice.
Squall - A sudden increase in sustained winds over a short time period.
Storm surge - A rise in the sea level at the coastline due to a huge storm such as a hurricane.
Supercell - A very large and long-lived thunderstorm.
Thunderstorm - A storm that produces thunder and lighting. It usually also generates high winds and rain.
Tornado - A rotating column of air with high wind speeds that makes contact with the ground.
Tropical cyclone - A large rotating storm with high speed winds that forms over warm waters in the ocean.
Typhoon - A tropical cyclone that formed in Southeast Asia.
Warm front - A front where warm air is replacing cold air.
Water vapor - The gas phase of water.
Wind - Wind is the movement or flow of air on a large scale.
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