The state of the atmosphere, or weather, can be defined as how hot or cold, wet or dry, quiet or stormy, clear or foggy, etc. The troposphere, which is the lowest layer of the planet’s atmosphere and directly below the stratosphere, is where most meteorological occurrences on Earth take place. Climate is the term used to describe the average of atmospheric conditions over longer periods of time, whereas weather refers to daily variations in temperature, precipitation, and other atmospheric factors. In general, “weather” refers to Earth’s weather when used without qualification.
Temperature, moisture content, and air pressure variations between locations determine the weather. The Sun’s angle at any given location varies with latitude, which can explain these discrepancies. The Hadley cell, the Ferrel cell, the polar cell, and the jet stream are the four main atmospheric circulations that result from the extreme temperature difference between polar and tropical air. Extratropical cyclones and other middle-latitude weather phenomena are brought on by jet streamflow instabilities. The ecliptic, or Earth’s orbital plane, is tilted relative to its axis, which causes sunlight to fall at varying angles throughout the year. The average yearly temperature rOver 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.40 °C (−40 °F to 104 °F).

Pressure changes are a result of variations in surface temperature. Because radiative losses to space are mainly constant and atmospheric heating is mostly caused by contact with the Earth’s surface, higher altitudes are cooler than lower ones. The use of science and technology to forecast the state of the atmosphere for a certain area and future time is known as weather forecasting. Because the Earth’s weather system is chaotic, even minor adjustments to one component can have a significant impact on the system as a whole. Throughout history, attempts have been made by humans to manipulate the weather, and there is proof that human endeavors like farming and industrialization have altered weather patterns.
Understanding Earth’s weather has been aided by research into the functioning of weather systems on other worlds. Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, a well-known landmark in the Solar System, is an anticyclonic storm that has been there for at least 300 years. But weather isn’t just found on planetary surfaces. Throughout the Solar System, a star’s corona is continuously lost to space, resulting in what is effectively a very thin atmosphere. The solar wind is the movement of mass that is expelled from the Sun.



Common meteorological occurrences on Earth include wind, clouds, rain, snow, fog, and dust storms. Natural calamities including ice storms, hurricanes, typhoons, and tornadoes are less frequent occurrences. The troposphere, or lowermost region of the atmosphere, is where almost all known meteorological occurrences take place. Although the precise mechanisms are not well understood, weather does indeed occur in the stratosphere and can influence weather further down in the troposphere.
The main causes of weather are variations in temperature, moisture content, and air pressure between locations. The sun angle at any given location, which varies with latitude in the tropics, can be the cause of these variations. Put another way, the sun angle decreases with increasing distance from the tropics, making such places colder as a result of the sun’s radiation covering a larger area. The jet stream and large-scale atmospheric circulation cells are produced by the sharp temperature differential between polar and tropical air. Instabilities in the jet stream movement give rise to weather systems in the mid-latitudes, like extratropical cyclones (see baroclinity).
Sunlight is incident at varying angles during the year due to the tilt of the Earth’s axis with respect to its orbital plane. Because of the tilt of the Northern Hemisphere towards the Sun in June, sunlight falls more directly on any given latitude in the Northern Hemisphere than it does in December (see Effect of sun angle on climate). Seasons are brought on by this influence. Changes in Earth’s orbital parameters over tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of years impact the planet’s solar energy intake and distribution, which in turn impacts the planet’s long-term climate. Refer to the Milankovitch cycles.


The weather itself, in the form of cloud cover and precipitation, may also be to blame for the uneven solar heating, which is known as frontogenesis—the establishment of zones of temperature and moisture gradients. Because of higher surface temperatures and radiational heating, which results in the adiabatic lapse rate, higher altitudes are often colder than lower ones.In certain cases, the temperature rises with altitude . An inversion is a phenomena that can make the peaks of mountains warmer than the valleys below. Fog can arise as a result of inversions, which can frequently serve as a cap to prevent thunderstorms from developing. Localized temperature variations can arise due to the distinct physical properties of various surfaces, including but not limited to ice sheets, oceans, forests, and man-made objects.
Pressure changes are a result of variations in surface temperature. When air is heated on a surface, the air above it expands, lowering the density and surface air pressure as a result. The air is moved from higher to lower pressure zones by the ensuing horizontal pressure gradient, which produces a wind. The Coriolis effect of the Earth’s rotation subsequently causes this airflow to be deflected. Other weather phenomena can be produced by the emergent behavior of the simple systems that have emerged, leading to the formation of more complex systems. The Hadley cell is one example of a large-scale system; coastal breezes are an example of a small-scale system.


The system of the atmosphere is chaotic. Small adjustments made to one component of the system can therefore add up and intensify to have a significant impact on the system as a whole. Weather forecasting is less dependable than tidal waves or eclipses because of this atmospheric instability. Weather forecasters are always trying to push the boundaries of weather prediction accuracy, even if it is challenging to do so more than a few days in advance. They do this by doing meteorological research and improving the techniques they now use. The potential for increased prediction skill is, however, limited because it is theoretically impossible to make useful day-to-day predictions more than around two weeks ahead of time.

Forming the Earth’s surface

One of the basic processes that shapes the Earth is the weather. Rocks and soils are broken down into smaller fragments and eventually into their constituent substances by the weathering process. Water droplets in precipitation absorb and dissolve carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Because of this, the rainfall has a tiny acidity, which enhances water’s erosive qualities. Following their release, the chemicals and sediment are free to participate in chemical processes that may have additional effects on the surface, such as acid rain, and the deposition of sodium and chloride ions, or salt, in the seas and oceans. Geological processes and time may cause the silt to reorganize into different rocks and soils.The sediment may reform in time and by geological forces into other rocks and soils. In this way, weather plays a major role in erosion of the surface.


Impact on people

From an anthropological point of view, weather is something that every human being on the planet continuously experiences through their senses, at least when they are outside. There are definitions of weather that are socially and scientifically formed, as well as ideas about how it changes and how it affects people in various contexts. For this reason, people talk about the weather a lot. An annual report on deaths, injuries, and overall damage costs—which include crop and property costs—is released by the National Weather Service. They collect this information through National Weather Service offices spread across all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands. As of 2019, tornadoes have killed 42 people and caused over $3 billion in crop and property damage, making them the most destructive natural disasters for humanity.

Impacts on the populace

Hurricane Katrina after it hit New Orleans, Louisiana. Although Katrina had been a category 5 storm in the Gulf of Mexico, it was a Category 3 hurricane when it made landfall.
In human history, the weather has had a significant and occasionally direct impact. Apart from the gradual population drift brought about by climatic changes (such as the formation of land bridges during glacial periods and the desertification of the Middle East), extreme weather events have also directly interfered with historical events and caused smaller-scale population movements. One such instance is the Kamikaze winds’ 1281 defense of Japan against an attack by Kublai Khan’s Mongol fleet.Famines and crop failures were brought on by the Little Ice Age in Europe. More intense weather occurrences appear to have been caused by volcanic forcing events during the Grindelwald Fluctuation (1560–1630). They resulted in the expansion of the Swiss Grindelwald Glacier as well as storms, droughts, and unusual blizzards. The worst famine to strike France since the Middle Ages occurred in the 1690s. In 1696–1697, Finland experienced a devastating famine that claimed the lives of around one-third of the country’s people.



Surface pressure forecast for the North Pacific, North America, and North Atlantic Ocean as of June 9, 2008, with a five-day forecast
The use of science and technology to forecast the state of the atmosphere for a certain area and future time is known as weather forecasting. For thousands of years, people have made informal weather forecasts, and since at least the 1800s, formal forecasts have been made. Weather forecasts are created by gathering quantitative information about the atmosphere’s current condition and projecting future atmospheric evolution using scientific knowledge of atmospheric processes.
Forecast models are now utilized to determine future circumstances, whereas formerly it was an all-human activity based mostly upon changes in barometric pressure, current weather conditions, and sky condition. However, selecting the optimal prediction model to use as the foundation for the forecast still requires human input and requires a variety of abilities, including the ability to recognize patterns, establish connections, understand model performance, and be aware of model biases.
Forecasts lose accuracy as the difference between the current time and the time for which they are being made (the forecast range) increases due to the chaotic nature of the atmosphere, the enormous computational power needed to solve the equations that describe the atmosphere, the error involved in measuring the initial conditions, and our incomplete understanding of atmospheric processes. To reduce error and select the most likely result, ensembles and model consensus are used.

Weather forecasts have a wide range of end users. Because they are intended to save lives and property, weather warnings are significant forecasts.Temperature and precipitation forecasts are crucial for agriculture, and consequently, for commodities traders in stock markets.
Some people in certain places base their daily outfit decisions on the weather prediction. Forecasts can be used to schedule activities around heavy rain, snow, and wind chill, which significantly restrict outdoor activities. They can also be used to prepare ahead of time for survival during these phenomena.
Forecasting for tropical weather differs from that for higher latitudes. The tropics are warmer than higher latitudes because they receive more direct sunlight—at least on average over a year—than higher latitudes.



From prehistoric ceremonies meant to produce rain for crops to the U.S. Military’s Operation Popeye, which attempted to disrupt supply lines by prolonging the North Vietnamese monsoon, the desire to control the weather has been a persistent human desire throughout history. The most effective methods of controlling weather involve cloud seeding; they include methods used by large airports to reduce hail, boost winter precipitation over mountains, and disperse fog and low stratusAlthough there is conflicting evidence regarding the effectiveness of these methods, there is a wealth of data demonstrating how human activities like industry and agriculture unintentionally alter the weather:
Acid rain, caused by industrial emission of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere, adversely affects freshwater lakes, vegetation, and structures.
Anthropogenic pollutants reduce air quality and visibility.
Climate change caused by human activities that emit greenhouse gases into the air is expected to affect the frequency of extreme weather events such as drought, extreme temperatures, flooding, high winds, and severe storms.
Heat, generated by large metropolitan areas have been shown to minutely affect nearby weather, even at distances as far as 1,600 kilometres (990 mi).

Localized meteorology

The study of short-lived atmospheric phenomena that are smaller than mesoscale—roughly one km or less—is known as microscale meteorology. The terms “mesoscale and microscale meteorology” (MMM) are occasionally used to refer to these two areas of meteorology. Together, they investigate any phenomena that are smaller than the synoptic scale, or features that are typically too small to be shown on a weather map. These consist of tiny, usually transient cloud “puffs” and other minute cloud structures.


Earthly extremes

On an increasing area of the Earth’s surface, new high temperature records have significantly exceeded new low temperature records in recent decades.
Temperatures on Earth often vary from ±40 °C (100 °F to −40 °F) per year. Temperature extremes outside of this range can be found on Earth due to the variety of latitudes and climates. The lowest air temperature ever measured on Earth was -89.2 °C (128.6 °F) on July 21, 1983, at Vostok Station in Antarctica. At ‘Aziziya, Libya, on September 13, 1922,the highest air temperature ever measured was 57.7 °C (135.9 °F), however that measurement is disputed. At Dallol, Ethiopia, the highest average yearly temperature ever recorded was 34.4 °C (93.9 °F). At Vostok, the lowest average yearly temperature ever recorded was −55.1 °C (−67.2 °F).
With an annual average temperature of −19.7 °C (−3.5 °F), Eureka, Nunavut, Canada, has the coldest average temperature of any place that is permanently inhabited.
Commonwealth Bay (George V Coast), Antarctica, is the windiest site on record.[Reference required] The gales hit 199 mph (320 km/h) here.[Reference required] In addition, the most snowfall in a 12-month span was recorded at Mount Rainier in Washington, USA. There was 31,102 mm (102.04 feet) of snow recorded.

Outside the Solar System and Not Human

It has been suggested that learning about the functioning of weather on other worlds can aid in understanding Earth’s weather system.While it occurs on various sizes and in atmospheres with distinct chemical compositions, weather on other planets is governed by many of the same physical principles as Earth weather. Rain made of liquid methane and other organic compounds is left behind by clouds generated from ethane or methane, as discovered by the Cassini-Huygens mission to Titan.Six latitudinal circulation zones, three in each hemisphere, make up the Earth’s atmosphere. Venus has a single jet stream close to the equator, Titan has a single jet stream at the 50th parallel north latitude, and Jupiter has numerous such zones as seen by its banded appearance.
Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, one of the most well-known sights in the Solar System, is an anticyclonic storm that has been there for at least 300 years. The absence of a surface on other gas giants enables wind to reach extremely high speeds; on the planet Neptune, gusts as high as 600 meters per second, or roughly 2,100 km/h or 1,300 mph, have been recorded.This has left planetary scientists with a puzzle.
In the end, solar energy determines the weather, and although Neptune receives only roughly 1,900 times the energy that Earth does, the planet experiences significantly more intense weather phenomena than Earth does.With easterly winds estimated to reach speeds of around 9,600 kilometers per hour (6,000 miles per hour), HD 189733 b is expected to have the strongest planetary winds ever detected.


The weather in space

Terrain is not the only place where weather exists. The Sun’s corona, like that of all stars, is continuously being lost to space, leaving the Solar System with essentially a very thin atmosphere. The solar wind is the movement of mass that is expelled from the Sun. Space weather is the collective term for irregularities in this wind and more significant phenomena that occur on the star’s surface, like coronal mass ejections, that combine elements of traditional weather systems, like wind and pressure. Tracks of coronal mass ejections have been made as far as Saturn in the Solar System. This system’s activity can have an impact on planetary surfaces and atmospheres. he interaction of the solar wind with the terrestrial atmosphere can produce spectacular aurorae, and can play havoc with electrically sensitive systems such as electricity grids and radio signal.



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