Types of Weather Tips

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What´s different between hail and sleet?

What is hail?

Hail is actually moisture that originates in convective clouds and is another form of refrozen raindrops. It starts out similar to sleet but hail spends more time forming and gathers a layer of ice crystals. When hail falls through the atmosphere it picks up additional water drops and can actually grow in size.

Are dust devils common?

What is a dust devil?

No, it's not a character in a Bugs Bunny cartoon. A dust devil is an atmospheric whirlwind that looks a lot like a small tornado. You've probably seen many dust devils as they're fairly common in residential and business areas.
Dust devils result from superheated air located near hot ground rising into colder air above. Dust devils mostly just swirl across fields or parking lots, kicking up leaves and causing a commotion. For the most part, dust devils are harmless.

How powerful is a bolt of lightning?

What is lightning?

Lightning is generally associated with thunderstorms and is one of several forms of visible electrical discharge produced by a storm.

Is fog just low clouds?

It's foggy out!

Fog is usually associated with fair and calm weather. Fog, simply put, is when droplets of water vapor become suspended in the air near the ground. Fog is created when the temperature of air and the dew point of air become the same or nearly the same.
The most visible sign of fog is no visibility or reduced visibility! People sometimes refer to fog as “clouds at ground level” which can be an accurate description.
Many different weather combinations can result in fog but the main factor for fog to form is saturated air.

How thick is sleet?

Sleet is just frozen rain

Those frozen pellets of ice that now and then coat the streets and make life difficult are simply explained – it's rain, that's all!
Sleet forms when moisture (rain) passes through a warm layer of the atmosphere then enters a freezing layer of the atmosphere closer to the surface of the earth.
Sleet is not as common of an occurrence as freezing rain. Sleet, however, often occurs when the weather is transitioning from freezing rain to snow.

How many colors are in a rainbow?


Rainbows are one of Mother Nature's most beautiful sights. The colorful phenomenon is formed when sunlight and raindrops interact, forming a concentric arc of brightly colored bands.
Rainbows form when rain is falling in one part of the sky and the sun is shining in another. For the rainbow to be seen, the observer must be behind the sun and facing the falling rain.

Is frost really a type of ice?


No, it's not a shortened nickname for Frosty the Snowman or Jack's last name!
Frost is ice that forms on surfaces by the condensation of atmospheric water vapor when temperature of the surface is less than 32 degrees F. Frost is often seen as a light, slippery coating of ice, normal during those frequent chilly winter mornings.

What is hail?

Can hail cause damage?

A hailstorm can be extremely severe. According to the National Weather Service Forecast Office, hail causes more than $1 billion in damage to crops and property each year. Hail also is noted for denting vehicles, breaking windows and damaging roofs.
The most expensive hailstorm in United States history (according to the government) happened in July of 1990 in Denver, Colorado, causing an estimated $625 million in damages.

How cold must it be for it to snow?

Tell us about snow .....

Snow is much more than that pesky slippery white powder that causes driving havoc but puts smiles on the faces of skiers!
Most people don't realize that outside of the tropics, normal rain is usually melted snow – raindrops begin their lives as snowflakes but melt on their downward spiral to earth.
Heavy snowfall is usually associated with severe winter storms when moisture droplets do not melt but instead remain in their frozen form, creating snowflakes and mounds of fun for children of all ages!

How loud is thunder?

How does lightning discharge?

Lightning discharges in several different forms; cloud-to-air, cloud-to-ground, cloud-to-cloud, and in-cloud. It travels both up and down and can approach the ground at speeds estimated to be 200,000 miles per hour. A bolt of lightning has been estimated to be as hot as 54,000 degrees Fahrenheit – about six times hotter than the surface of the sun.

How loud is thunder?

Thundering along

It may sometimes sound like the end of the world when a loud clap of thunder rocks the sky. However, thunder is only an acoustic shock wave generated by the extreme heat associated with a lightning flash.
Thunder is caused by the rapid heating and cooling of air near the lightning. The air “explodes” during the process, causing the sounds of thunder.
One trick you may have learned as a child is to count the seconds between when you see the lightning flash and hear the thunder – multiply the seconds by 1,000 feet and that's how far away the lightning is!

Where does air come from?

Air is to breathe .....

Air is an invisible, odorless gas that consists of about 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen, 0.9 percent argon and 0.03 percent of carbon dioxide. Air also contains traces of helium, neon, methane, nitrous oxide, krypton (though not enough for SuperMan) and xenon.
A cubic yard of air weighs more than two pounds at sea level, so air isn't as light as people tend to think it is!

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Guru Spotlight
Jolyn Wells-Moran