What is meteorology: Definition and Examples
Meteorology is the study of weather. It belongs to the branch of science which addresses atmospheric phenomena. Meteorological phenomena depend on the variation and alteration of temperature, mass flow, water vapor and atmospheric pressure which define the changes in weather conditions.
For example, clouds, hurricanes, hail and droughts are meteorological phenomena.
Meteorological data is especially used for weather forecasting but many other domains need such information. The farming industry uses meteorology to study the effects of weather on the growth of plants; aviation to manage and regulate air traffic; and renewable energy to conduct research on wind power in order to optimize the installation.
Glossary of the most useful words in meteorology
||A large volume of air which temperature and humidity remain the same at any height
||Tropical air masses are hot.
||A temperature inferior to 0 degrees Celsius (32F)
||It has often gone below freezing this winter.
|Boiling hot (idiomatic)
||Describes a very hot day
||It is boiling hot today, I wish I had a pool!
||A very light wind
||Thanks to the refreshing breeze we did not suffocate from the heat.
||12°C is a bit chilly for May.
||Describes a blue sky, free of clouds
||The sky is so clear tonight, we can see the Moon.
||Average weather conditions in a given region
||Ecology aims at fighting against climate change.
||White or grey masses of water in the sky
||The clouds are so big: there is going to be a storm!
||A pleasantly cold temperature
||After that hot day a cool evening is more than welcome.
||The unit of temperature measurement
||The freezer temperature should be -18 degrees C (0° F).
||A long period during which no rain falls
||The crops are all dried in the field due to the current drought.
||Winds blowing in intra-tropical regions from east to west
||Dakar has a mild micro-climate thanks to trade winds.
||The most external part of the atmosphere
||In the exosphere, the air is very thin.
||Heavy rainfalls leading to overflows
||Today’s storms have caused floods in many villages
||A thick cloud near the earth’s surface which blocks visibility
||We couldn’t see the tower because of the fog.
||Previsions made about future weather
||According to the weather forecast, we’ll have a sunny weekend.
|Describes a very cold temperature
||It was freezing cold on that Christmas night.
||Ice forming on a frozen surface
||The frost killed our flowers last night.
||Pieces of ice that fall during a strong rain or storm
||The hail destroyed our wind-chill.
||A violent tropical storm
||The hurricane in New Orleans has caused massive damage
||A ionized part of the atmosphere, comprising the mesosphere and thermosphere
||The ionosphere extends from 60 to 1000 km
||A moderate and smooth temperature
||The weather is quite mild for the season, you won’t need a scarf.
||The third layer of the atmosphere
||The temperature is lower in the mesosphere due.
||The clouds blocking the sun
||The sky is overcast today, the sun cannot be seen.
||Amount of rain or snow falling on a region
||There is a lot of precipitation in Scotland.
||The water falling from the clouds on earth
||Frogs and snails are happy in the rain.
|Raining cats and dogs
|It is raining heavily
||We couldn’t go out last night because it was raining cats and dogs.
||A light rainfall
||A shower would be so relieving for the plants that are thirsty.
||Dark fog caused by pollution
||The smog was so thick we couldn’t see nor breathe in the city.
||Frozen water falling during winter
||Without snow, there is no point going skiing.
||The second layer of the atmosphere
||Commercial aircrafts fly just underneath the stratosphere.
||The bright star that warms and lightens earth
||It does look like summer’s here: there’s so much sun now!
||Defines how warm or cold the air is feeling
||The temperature is low. Can you turn on the radiator?
||The fourth layer of the atmosphere
||The International Space Station orbits in the thermosphere.
||A tempest usually with rain, lightning and thunder
||The thunderstorm was so strong I couldn’t sleep with all the noise and lightning!
||The first layer of the atmosphere above the world’s surface
||The troposphere is thicker at the equator than at the poles.
||Winds blowing in extra-tropical regions from west to east.
||The westerlies are stronger in the northern hemisphere.
||Air blowing outside which makes the clouds move
||Thanks to the winds, the sailing boat was traveling very fast.
Practice With a Quiz and Improve Your Vocabulary
1 What is called the fourth layer of the atmosphere?
Answer: D Thermosphere
2 What is the expression to talk about heavy rain?
A Being on cloud nine
B Saving up for a rainy day
C Raining cats and dogs
D Breaking the ice
Answer: C Raining cats and dogs
3 What kind of wind is a breeze?
C From east to west
Answer: D Light
4 What is called the star that warms earth?
A The Northern star
B The Pistol star
C The Sun
D The Alpha Centauri A
Answer: C The Sun
5 What term defines a smooth temperature?
B Boiling hot
C Freezing cold
Answer: A Mild
6 What is smog?
A A sort of smoke
B A dark fog caused by pollution
C A kind of frog
D A heavy wind
Answer: B A dark fog caused by pollution
7 What term describes a cloudless sky?
A Clear sky
B Overcast sky
C Cloudy sky
D Rainy sky
Answer: A Clear sky
8 What is a shower?
A A heavy rain
B A light rain
C An icy rain
D An acid rain
Answer: B A light rain
9 In what order are the atmosphere’s layers classified (from the earth to space)?
A Troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, exosphere
B Troposphere, exosphere, thermosphere, stratosphere, mesosphere
C Atmosphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, exosphere
D Stratosphere, mesosphere, troposphere, exosphere, thermosphere
Answer: A Troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, exosphere
10 What are we to expect in case of a thunderstorm?
A Rain, hail and sun
B Rain, thunder and snow
C Rain, thunder and lightning
D Rain, westerlies and fog
Answer: C Rain, thunder and lightning
True or false?
1 A below freezing temperature is really hot. FALSE
2 Westerlies blow from west to east. TRUE
3 Snow is made of water. TRUE
4 Only rainfalls are taken into account to quantify precipitations. FALSE
5 The lack of rain for a long time is called a flood. FALSE
6 A hurricane is a tropical storm. TRUE
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