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Can You Tan Through A Window? A Look At The Sun’s Ability To Cause Sunburn Under Different Conditions

Can You Tan Through A Window - A Look At The Sun's Ability To Cause Sunburn Under Different Conditions

Many individuals prefer a nicely tanned skin. You just feel and look more healthy and attractive. Despite health warnings, many still seek out the sun to get some color in their skin.

And this brings us to the subject of tanning. The trusted method of spending time or lying directly in the sun for a certain amount of time remains the most popular means of attaining a proper tan.

As recently as the late 20th century (and still today), people spend days in the sun with little protection to get that sought-after bronzed look. Only when the medical community raised the alarm about skin cancer and the link to sun exposure did society start to pay attention.

Since then, a lot happened to make tanning "safer." Sunbeds and tanning booths became very popular. "Tanning pills" and Melatonin 2 injections are also available, but all were shown to have questionable or severe side-effects. Some even worse than sun exposure.

With all these questionable, short-term, or dangerous alternatives available, many people decide to return to the "relative safety" of the sun. While taking care to limit time, avoid the most dangerous time of day, and using sunscreen, many are braving the sun every year. 

As a result, an increasing number of questions get asked about the sun, tanning, and safety. This post examines what exactly tanning is and looks & addresses the common queries surrounding the subject. It also examines why extended UV exposure is so lethal.

Tanning Definition

Before we can delve into the different questions surrounding sun exposure and how it affects tanning, we first need to define what tanning is:

What Is Tanning?

What Is Tanning

Tanning is the process through which the human skin changes into a darker tone as a result of prolonged exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

It is the skin's defense mechanism to protect it from ultraviolet radiation by releasing a pigment called melanin which absorbs the radiation.

As the body release more melanin, the pigment darkens skin color, which is observed as a tan.

In low quantities, exposure to the sun is beneficial in more than one way. It helps you to look healthier by getting a base tan and also triggers the release of vitamin D. This vitamin is vital to maintain bone and teeth health and support the immune system.

A surprisingly small amount of sunlight is necessary to achieve this result. Unfortunately, many people spend a lot more time directly in the sun, sometimes without realizing it and without any protection as a result.

Harmful Effects Of UV Rays

Exposure to UV radiation becomes harmful when you spend a prolonged period of time in direct (or indirect) sunlight. Even if you take precautions, like wearing sunscreen, at some point, the amount of time exposed to the Sun's UV rays will outweigh any protection. 

This exposure will lead to a number of short and long-term effects, which include:

Sunburn

Most of us are familiar with the sore red skin that we experience after spending too much time in the sun.

It has the short-term effect of experiencing sore red skin and the possible peeling of the upper layer of the skin at a later stage. Long-term effects are more severe, which include anything from sunspots, premature skin aging, and, finally, different types of skin cancer.

Premature Skin Aging & Skin Damage

Premature Skin Aging

One of the delayed impacts of long periods of UV exposure is premature skin again. An adult with this condition has skin that shows wrinkles that also became thick and leathery. These symptoms can show up surprisingly early in an adult's life.

Other forms of skin damage include sunspots and skin growths which may turn into a type of skin cancer if it turns malignant and left unchecked.

Eye Damage

Research shows that UV radiation can increase the risk of cataracts, which is the creation of a fogginess and loss of transparency in the eye lens. If untreated, it can lead to blindness.

Other forms of eye damage include skin cancer around the eyes, degradation of part of the retina called the macula, and also pterygium, which is a type of growth that can block vision.

Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the most serious and potentially life-threatening effect of long-term exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. Like other forms of cancer, skin cancer also comes in different types and levels of severity.

It varies from small malignant growths that can be treated with procedures as simple as cryotherapy, to melanoma which is the most aggressive form of skin cancer that can spread to internal organs and be fatal if left untreated for too long.

One of the most deceptive parts of skin cancer is that many of the cases that appear and gets treated as an adult are the result of sun exposure the individual experienced as a child or teenager.

The Most Commonly Asked Questions Asked About Tanning And Sun Exposure

With much more social awareness of the dangers of sun exposure, as highlighted in the previous section, most people are more sensitive about recklessly venturing into the sun. 

It also led to many questions about the conditions under which one can get sunburned. We take a look and answer some of the most commonly asked questions about sun tanning under different circumstances.

Can You Tan Through A Window?

Tan Through A Window

It all depends on the type of window to which you are referring. Your average home or office window blocks 97 percent of all dangerous UV-B rays, which cause sunburn and skin cancer.

However, it blocks only 37 percent of UV-A rays. So, in this case, the answer is yes. You can get a tan, but it will take much longer than standing in direct sunlight.

A car window, however, is something completely different. Due to the plastic layer between the layers of glass, all UV-B radiation gets blocked, while 80 percent of UV-A rays are also blocked. So while you might get boiling in hot in a car, you will not get much of a tan at all.

Can You Tan In The Shade?

Surprisingly, the answer is yes. Again, you won't build up a tan as quickly as in direct sunlight. However, you will still receive enough UV exposure to build a healthy skin color over time.

This exposure is possible due to indirect UV radiation. As sunlight hits objects on the ground, it reflects and scatters UV rays in all directions, including into shaded areas.

You can read all about solar radiation and the different types of visible and ultraviolet light in this article.

Can You Get A Tan Through Clouds?

The answer is a resounding yes, and the reason many people get severely sunburned every year. You may not feel the heat of the sun or even see the sun, but that does not mean that you are not getting exposed to ultraviolet radiation.

In fact, clouds let through as much as 80 percent of all UV rays. Since one does not see or feel the sun's effects, a person can spend extended periods of time outside without any sun protection. This is what makes this atmospheric condition so dangerous.

Can You Get Vitamin D Through Glass?

Unfortunately, the answer here is no. The Sun does not provide the human body with vitamin D, but our bodies produce it through a chemical reaction as a result of ultraviolet radiation exposure.

The ultraviolet light needed to produce vitamin D, UV-B radiation, gets practically completely blocked by glass, as discussed in an earlier section. It blocks approximately 97 percent of all UV-B light, making it impossible for the body to produce vitamin D indoors or in your car.

Can You Tan Through Clothes?

This question goes hand in hand with the question, "Do clothes protect from UV rays?". The answer is yes, and no. It all depends on the color and type of fabric the clothes are made of:

Tan Through Clothes

Density & Thickness: Density and density play an important role. A thick and tightly woven fabric will keep UV rays out, while thin and see-through material will let large amounts of UV radiation through.

Color: Dark and colored clothing absorb rather than letting UV rays through, so it protects the skin from any UV radiation. Light colors, on the other hand, tend to allow UV rays through and expose the sun to ultraviolet light.

Composition: The type of material used in clothing also plays a significant part in the clothing's ability to protect against UV radiation. Some glossy polyesters are very effective at reflecting the Sun's UV rays altogether.

Some cotton that is unbleached also contains a type of lignin that absorbs UV radiation and provides protection against sunburn. Certain clothes are specifically designed to completely block out any ultraviolet light, which uses sun-protective materials.

As you will notice, it is impossible to give a definitive answer as to the capability of UV radiation to penetrate clothing and cause sunburn or give you a tan.

Can You Get Sunburn Under Water?

Like clothing, the answer is yes, and no. In principle, water can protect you from sunburn, but only when you are deep enough underwater.

Sunburn Through Water

Only 60 percent of UV-B rays get blocked by water at half a meter. Realistically, though, very few people who spend time in the ocean or swimming pool have any part of their bodies covered with more than a few inches (or centimeters) of water.

In fact, when you swim or stand in shallow water, half your body is completely exposed to direct sunlight. It also gets exposed to the UV radiation that is reflected from the water's surface. Potentially, you can get more sunburned in water than out of it.

So yes, you will be able to catch a tan in most instances since your body is only covered by a small amount of water most of the time. Only when you dive below a depth of one meter of water will it provide you with enough protection against any UV radiation.

Does Sunscreen Stop You From Tanning?

No, sunscreen will not stop you from tanning. It will slow down the speed at which you get a tan, though. Since it protects you from sunburn and its associated dangers, a certain amount of UV radiation gets blocked, but it will not prevent your body from producing melanin.

There are still dangers, though. Using a sunscreen with a low SPF (sun protective factor) will only protect your skin to a certain degree and for a limited time, after which you can still get severely sunburned.

Using sunscreen with a high SPF will make it longer for your skin to tan, but it will be much safer and protect you from sunburn.

Conclusion

As you can clearly see after reading this article, there so many different weather and environmental conditions influencing the way you tan or get sunburned that you have to take each scenario on a case by case basis to inform yourself on how to get a safe tan.

Other factors, such as infrastructure, clothing, and water, all play a role as well, which we covered in detail. Please note that there are still several other known and unknown factors that influence the sun's UV radiation and your skin's reaction to it.

The first aim of this post was to explain what tanning is and how it works. We then looked at why the Sun's ultraviolet radiation is so dangerous to the human skin. Finally, this article addressed the questions many people ask about tanning and the conditions surrounding it.

Even though some of the lesser asked questions were not covered in this article, by focusing on answering the most commonly asked ones as thoroughly as possible, you should be able to make the right deductions to answer most of these smaller questions for yourself.

If you like to be informed whenever a new article is released, and also receive helpful tips & information, you can stay updated by simply  following this link .

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What Is A Rain Gauge, What Are The Different Types Of Rain Gauges And How Do They Work?

What Is A Rain Gauge - What Are The Different Types Of Rain Gauges - And How They Work

The measuring of rain and other forms of precipitation is an age-old practice that communities have been engaging with for centuries. And the device used for measuring precipitation is known as a rain gauge.

A rain gauge is a meteorological instrument used to measure the amount of precipitation in its liquid form in a specific area over a defined period of time. It is typically used as part of a weather station to measure current and determine future weather conditions.

To be more precise, evidence shows the practice of measuring rainfall dates back as far as 500 B.C. when the Ancient Greeks already measured precipitation.

Combined with the record high temperatures recorded in recent years, which lead to a global reduction in precipitation, the accurate measuring of rainfall has become more critical than ever before.

This article will focus on what a rain gauge is, highlight the different types of rain gauges, and explain how they work.

Rain Gauge Definition

With any doubt about the importance of measuring and keeping a record of rainfall out of the way, we first need to define what precisely a rain gauge is before looking at different types of devices and how they work.

What Is A Rain Gauge?

What Is A Rain Gauge

A rain gauge is a meteorological instrument used to measure precipitation in its liquid form in a specific area over a predetermined period of time. It is typically used as part of a weather station to measure current and determine future weather conditions, monitoring the water cycle, as well as refining forecasting models.

Also known as udometers and pluviometers, rain gauges are considered to be one of the oldest meteorological instruments ever invented and widely used.

To understand how a rain gauge works, one needs to look at the different types of devices for measuring rainfall and examine the unique way in which each one works.

The Different Types Of Rain Gauges

If you look at different rain gauges closely, you will notice that the majority of them work on the same basic principle. The rain falls into a cylindrical funnel that collects the water, which runs down into different measuring mechanisms.

These different mechanisms and methods of collecting and measuring the rainfall make each rain gauge different. There are mainly 5 types of rain gauges:

  1. Graduated Cylinder Rain Gauge (Standard Rain Gauge)
  2. Tipping Bucket Rain Gauge
  3. Weighing Precipitation Gauge
  4. Optical Rain Gauge
  5. Acoustic Rain Gauge

Each rain gauge serves a different purpose, depending on the needs of the meteorologist, hydrologist, or home weather enthusiast.

1. Graduated Cylinder Rain Gauge

Also known as the standard rain gauge, the graduated cylinder rain gauge is a simple, measured glass cylinder. It is used by all professional weather services in manned stations and is the most accurate way of directly measuring rainfall. 

Graduated Glass Tube

The water gets collected by a cylindrical funnel, from where it flows directly into the graduated cylinder or captured by a container and then poured into a measured cylinder.

This rain gauge has to be measured and emptied on a daily basis, which means it can only be used in a manned weather station. (Remote weather stations use automated rain gauges that empty themselves, which you will learn about shortly.)

The United States (NWS) and United Kingdom (Met Office) use two different methods for measuring rainfall in a graduated cylinder rain gauge:

National Weather Service 8 Inch Standard Rain Gauge (United States)

The United States National Weather Service uses the 8 inch Standard Rain Gauge. It consists of four main components:

  1. Collector Funnel
  2. Measuring Tube
  3. Overflow Can
  4. Measuring Stick

The collector funnel catches the rain and is 8 inches in diameter. From there, the water flows directly into the measuring tube. The tube is either a plastic or brass tube.

The measuring tube is housed in the overflow can, which catches all the water that overflows from the measuring tube. It can hold a maximum of 20 inches of liquid.

The fourth component of the rain gauge is the graduated measuring stick with distinct white markings. A meteorologist measures rainfall by dipping it through the funnel opening to the bottom of the measuring tube and record the reading.

If the rainfall exceeds the maximum 2 inches the measuring tube can contain, it flows into the overflow can which, contents get measured separately by pouring it into a graduated measuring tube which records the reading.

Met Office 5 Inch Standard Rain Gauge (United Kingdom)

The United Kingdom's Met Office uses the 5 inch Standard Rain Gauge. It also consists of three main components:

  1. Collector Funnel
  2. Glass Container
  3. Graduated Measuring Tube

The funnel catches the rain and is 5 inches in diameter. From there, the water flows directly into a plain large glass container.

Once a day, the glass container is removed, and its contents poured into the graduated measuring tube, which measures the amount of rainfall.

2. Tipping Bucket Rain Gauge

Tipping Bucket Rainfall Gauge

The tipping bucket rain gauge is an automated rain meter that uses a "tipping bucket" mechanism to measure rainfall. It is used by professional weather services' remote weather stations and is also popular and widely used in home weather stations.

Like a standard rain gauge, it uses a collector funnel with a narrow pipe at the bottom to capture rainfall. From the pipe, the water drops onto a finely-balanced seesaw device with small buckets on each side.

At any point, one of the buckets is positioned directly under the pipe. When enough water collects in the bucket, its weight makes it drops to the bottom and empties itself while lifting the opposite bucket into position under the pipe.

This process keeps repeating as rainwater continues to flow through the funnel onto the buckets. Each time a bucket drops to the bottom, it triggers an electronic switch. In turn, the switch sends a wireless or landline signal to a base station.

Each signal represents a specific amount of rain that has been set up and calibrated in the tipping bucket mechanism. By counting each signal and adding it up, weather stations can calculate the rainfall over any given period.

As the water flows out of each bucket, it drains through predesigned openings in the rain gauge, meaning there is no need for anyone to maintain the system. This advantage makes it ideal for use in remote weather stations, which is also hard to reach.

3. Weighing Precipitation Gauge

A weighing precipitation gauge consists of receiving bucket mounted on a weighing device, usually a mechanical mechanism such as a spring. The rain accumulates in the container, and the increased weight compresses the springs.

weighing precipitation gauge

The amount of compression gets measured and used to calculate the weight of the water. The measurement can be recorded manually with a pen on a drum or electronically with a data-logger and send to the base weather station via landline or wireless connection.

The weighing precipitation gauge has some advantages over the tipping bucket system, including the ability to capture and measure snow and other solid forms of precipitation. It is also better equipped to handle large downpours.

Most modern systems are also self-emptying, reducing the amount of maintenance required on this type of rain gauge. Some weighing gauges are heated as well, which allows them to melt solid forms of precipitation and prevent a build-up of snow.

4. Optical Rain Gauge

An optical rain gauge consists of a laser/infrared diode and photosensitive sensor situated in enclosed spaces on opposites sides and below a row of funnels that receive rainfall.

Each funnel has a small opening at the bottom through which raindrop forms when enough precipitation accumulates inside the container. Once the waterdrop grows large enough, it falls from the funnel and through the space between the laser diode and photosensor.

As the drop falls through the beam of light, it scatters it enough for the photosensor to detect and measure it. These measurements are recorded and send through a landline or wireless connection to the base weather station.

Optical rain sensors have the advantage of not only measuring the amount of rainfall but also the intensity and frequency of the rain through precise detection by the photosensitive detector.

5. Acoustic Rain Gauge

acoustic rain gauge

Also known as hydrophones, acoustic rain gauges are used to measure the rainfall over large bodies of water like dams, lakes, and the ocean.

The device itself gets place underneath the water's surface. The hydrophone can sense and measure the impact of the raindrops hitting the surface of the water.

Each raindrop makes a unique sound, depending on its size and speed, which is called a sound signature. An acoustic rain gauge is sensitive enough to detect the different sound signatures to calculate the size and frequency of different raindrops.

Conclusion

After reading this post, you will know just how vital rainfall is to scientists, especially meteorologists and hydrologists. This is the reason why so much focus and time is spent on measuring precipitation, and it also explains why so many different rain gauges are in use.

This article focused on what precisely a rain gauge is and also examined the different types of rain measuring devices and how they work in different environments to make accurate precipitation measurements.

If you like to be informed whenever a new article is released, and also receive helpful tips & information, you can stay updated by simply  following this link .

Until next time, keep your eye on the weather!

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Defining An Anemometer, The Different Types Of Anemometers And How They Work

What Is An Anemometer-What Are The Different Types Of Anemometers-And How Do They-Work

In meteorology, several instruments are used together to determine current atmospheric conditions and make weather predictions. We examine one such device, the anemometer, and how it works.

An anemometer is a meteorological instrument used to measure wind speed or the rate of airflow in the atmosphere. It forms an essential part of a weather station to help determine current and forecast future atmospheric conditions. The most widely used anemometer is known as a cup anemometer.

Even though the basic design did not change much since its invention more than 500 years ago, no significant weather station setup is complete without an anemometer, from the home weather station to professional systems used by national meteorological agencies.

In this post, we examine what an anemometer is, how it works, as well as having a look at the different types of instruments. 

What Is An Anemometer?

As with any other meteorological instrument or weather event, it's important to define what an anemometer is before we examine it further:

Anemometer Definition

What Is An Anemometer

An anemometer is a meteorological instrument used to measure wind speed (or rate of airflow) in the atmosphere. It forms an essential part of a weather station to determine current and forecasting future atmospheric conditions. The most widely used anemometer is known as a cup anemometer.

Leon Battista Alberti developed the first anemometer in 1450. Since then, the original design was improved upon several times, but the fundamental principles remain the same.

Today, several different anemometers exist to suit specific needs or preferences. We discuss the three most significant types of anemometers and how they work in the next section.

The Types Of Anemometers And How They Work

They come in different shapes and sizes, but anemometers can be narrowed down into three types of devices:

  1. Cup Anemometers
  2. Vane Anemometers
  3. Hot-Wire Anemometers

Each anemometer will be separately described and examined to get a clear understanding of how each device works.

1) Cup Anemometers

A cup anemometer consists of 3-4 cylindrical cups on horizontal arms rotating around a central axis. It is connected to and drives a shaft inside the axis that starts to turn as the cups start spinning.

Cup Anemometer

As the wind speed increases, the cups spin faster, which results in the shaft rotating more quickly as well. The number of rotations is counted, which is used to calculate the wind speed, and then gets displayed on a calibrated analog or digital wind speed meter.

For the most accurate readings, a cup anemometer must be installed approximately 10 meters (32.8 feet) above the ground in an open area. Placing it close to large objects that will influence airflow can lead to false readings.

2) Vane Anemometers

Vane anemometers, also known as propeller or windmill anemometer, also make use of wind speed to rotate. Unlike cup anemometers, though, they use blades to rotate and is also horizontally mounted (as opposed to vertically mounted cup anemometers).

Vane Anemometer

The shaft that connects to the blades is also mounted in a horizontal position, parallel to the airflow. Like the cup anemometer, the rotating blades make the shaft turn, and the number of rotations is counted to calculate the wind speed.

The blades of a vane anemometer are in the shape of an airplane propeller (hence the propeller analogy) and also react in the same way to wind movement. This is the reason it must be mounted horizontally to operate correctly and make accurate measurements.

Crucially, the blades must also face directly into the wind to perform accurate readings. To ensure this positioning, the anemometer's body rotates freely on an axis, with a vane fixed on the opposite side of the blades. The vane forces the body to turn into and face the wind.

Vane anemometers have several advantages and increased in popularity as a result. Some benefits include the ability to be used outdoors and indoors. They can also be compact and used in handheld devices and measure other atmospheric parameters besides wind speed.

3) Hot-Wire Anemometers

Unlike cup and vane anemometers which are mechanical devices, a hot-wire anemometer (also known as constant current anemometers) uses electricity and heat to measure and calculate wind speed.

It uses electricity to heat a thin wire suspended in the air. As the wind cools the wire down, the rate at which it cools down gets measured to calculate the wind speed.

hot-wire anemometers

Using this method to calculate wind speed is possible since a metal's temperature directly influences its ability to conduct electricity (its resistance). A hot metal has a high resistance and does not conduct an electrical current as well as a cold metal with much less resistance.

As the heated wire starts to cool down while air passes over it, the resistance begins to decrease as well. The wind speed is calculated by measuring the rate at which the resistance in the wire decreases.

Hot-wire anemometers also have several other benefits. They can be used in more applications than just the field of meteorology. They can be used to measure gas flow in pipes and also be used in fluids to measure the flow rate of a liquid.

Since hot-wire anemometers are very sensitive to slight changes, they are particularly accurate at measuring very low wind speeds. This capability makes them important for use in environments where the slightest air movement is of importance.

These three types of anemometers can be considered to be the most relevant wind measuring devices in meteorology. They are by no means the only anemometers in existence, though.

Laser Doppler anemometers use lasers, as the name suggests. Ultrasonic anemometers utilize sound waves. And plate anemometers are used to measure high wind speeds. 

The examples mentioned above are just a few examples of a broader range of anemometers also available.

Conclusion

As the article illustrated, anemometers are used to measure wind speed. However, they can be used in other applications as well. There are also several different types of anemometers, of which the three most relevant ones were highlighted.

By now, you should have a good understanding of what an anemometer is, what it is used for, and how the different types of anemometers work.  

If you like to be informed whenever a new article is released, and also receive helpful tips & information, you can stay updated by simply  following this link .

Until next time, keep your eye on the weather!

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What Is A Weather Satellite – The Different Types Of Weather Satellites And How They Work

How Do Weather Satellites Work And How Do Satellites Stay in Orbit

The Earth is surrounded by 4 700 satellites, of which roughly 1 800 are still active at any given time. They serve a range of purposes, including communication, surveillance, navigation, and, yes, meteorology.

A weather satellite is an artificially created object orbiting the Earth in space with the primary purpose of measuring and collecting meteorological data from a range of atmospheric conditions. It remains in Low Earth Orbit or is placed in a fixed position over the equator in Geostationary Orbit.

Although it's hard to pinpoint the precise amount of active weather satellites in orbit right now, it's a significant number, and new ones with more advanced and accurate measuring equipment get launched on a regular basis.

Over the past few decades, meteorological satellites have become an indispensable part of meteorology. Not only are they used to help make accurate weather predictions and create forecast models, but they also track important weather events (like hurricanes) in realtime. 

This article examines what a weather satellite is, how it works, and also takes a look at the different types of weather satellites. 

What Is A Weather Satellite?

A number of countries currently have multiple weather satellites in space to monitor the weather and climate, including Japan, The United States, China, Europa, and Russia.

Before examining them in more detail, we first need to clarify what a weather satellite is. 

Weather Satellite Definition

What Is A Weather Satellite

A weather satellite is an artificially created object orbiting the Earth in space with the primary purpose of measuring and collecting meteorological data from a range of atmospheric conditions. It remains in Low Earth Orbit or is placed in a fixed position over the equator in Geostationary Orbit.

Rain, snow, ice, fire, cloud systems, dust storms, air pollution, volcanic ash, and ocean currents are just some of the many parameters that a weather satellite measures.

All the data collected by these satellites get sent back to Earth, where meteorologists and climatologists use it to monitor current atmospheric conditions, predict future weather events, and create or refine forecast models.

How Do Weather Satellites Work?

The essential workings of a weather satellite are not much different from other types of earth-orbiting satellites. The most significant difference is the type of equipment it carries onboard and its unique orbits and positioning around the Earth.

Before one can look at what sets weather satellite apart from other satellites, we need to look at the features that all satellites have in common and makes them work. 

Components Of A Satellite

Almost all earth-orbiting satellites have basically the same make-up. The majority of satellites have the following make-up that they need to function:

  • Main Body: Containing instrumentation, fuel, solar batteries, communication hardware, etc.
  • Solar Panels: Providing power to all onboard instrumentation, sensors, navigation equipment, etc.
  • Rockets: The propulsion system using onboard fuel to make small orbital adjustments and minor maneuvers.
  • Antennas & Transponders: The crucial equipment for communicating with the ground and the ability to be tracked and located.
  • Thermal System: For protecting electronics and sensitive equipment from the extreme heat and cold temperatures in space.

Several other components also form part of the make-up of a satellite. For example, the aluminum covering protects external equipment from solar radiation. These components, though, do not make up the crucial parts of a satellite.

How Do Satellites Stay In Orbit?

A satellite stays in orbit by balancing two parameters: Speed (velocity) and Gravity.

Satellite Launch

Before a satellite can establish its orbit around Earth, though, it needs to get into space first. To accomplish this, they need a rocket that is powerful enough to break free from the planet's gravitational forces and carry the satellite into its designated orbit.

A rocket needs to reach speeds of at least 28 000 km/h (17 500 mph) to overcome the Earth's gravity and thick atmosphere. Once it clears the strongest gravitational forces, it can carry the satellite in low, medium, or high orbit.

(Learn more about rockets and how they work in this article.)

Once the predetermined orbit is reached, the satellite gets released at the right orbit speed to maintain the same height above Earth's atmosphere. This speed was calculated to balance the satellite's velocity with Earth's gravity to maintain a constant altitude.

The satellite's speed needs to be fast enough not to get dragged down by the planet's gravity, yet slow enough to not completely break free from all gravitational forces and travel straight into space. 

In this way, a satellite can stay in orbit around Earth's surface for decades and even make small adjustments in its orbit by using the small amount of fuel it carries onboard.  

What Makes A Weather Satellite Different

A weather satellite may look like any other satellite, but it is its imaging equipment it carries onboard that sets it apart. The high-resolution imagers (cameras) are able to capture images in the visible, near-infrared, and infrared (thermal) range of the solar spectrum.

The range of atmospheric and surface parameters that can be measured, are literally too numerous to mention. For example, NASA's geostationary satellite, GOES-16, is capable of taking high-resolution images with 16 spectral bands. They include 10 infrared, 4 near-infrared, and 2 visible channels.

What this means is that satellites like the GOES-16 can capture detailed images of a wide range of parameters in the atmosphere, from cloud formation, land surface temperature, ocean currents, and even aerosols and vegetative health.

The images get sent back to ground stations where meteorologists, environmental agencies, etc., can access them. They use for accurate weather predictions, do impact studies, conduct meteorological risk assessments, and refine climate models, to mention just a few.

The images and data that gets captured come from two types of weather satellites that are classified according to their orbit around Earth, which will be discussed in the next section.

Polar And Geostationary Satellites

The two different types of weather satellites are categorized according to their orbit around Earth, which is either a geostationary or polar orbit. Each one has its own advantage and actually compliment each other.

Polar-Orbiting Satellites

Polar-orbiting weather satellites orbit the Earth around the North and South Poles. They get placed in a low orbit of around 850 km (530 miles) above the planet.

jpss-1 satellite

The low orbit allows a satellite to cover every location on Earth and image the same area twice a day. The ability to cover the entire planet frequently at low orbit allows polar-orbiting satellites to get a much more detailed look at the surface and atmosphere at any given time.

The latest generation of these satellites is especially well-equipped to measure specific aspects of weather like atmospheric temperatures, various cloud parameters, as well as, humidity fields.

Like geostationary satellites, most major nations have their own polar-orbiting series of satellites. The United States makes use of their NOAA range of satellites, Russia operates the Meteor series of satellites, and Europe uses the Metop satellites.

Geostationary Satellites

Geostationary satellites orbit the Earth at altitudes of around 35 880 kilometers (22 300 miles), much higher than any polar-orbiting weather satellite. The vast distance from the planet's surface enables the satellites to take images of Earth's entire hemisphere at a time.

This ability helps meteorologists to get a global picture of atmospheric and surface conditions. Earlier in this article, you saw the broad spectrum of channels a geostationary satellite can use to monitor multiple meteorological conditions (in the form of the GOES-16.)

A geostationary satellite also orbits around the Equator at the same frequency the Earth rotates, which means the satellite always remains in one location above the planet.

One of the many advantages that this type of orbit provides is that a ground station can place a directional antenna in a fixed position, and it will stay in communication with the geostationary satellite without continuous adjustments.

Like polar-orbiting satellites, major nations of the world use their own group geostationary satellites. The United States uses the GOES series of satellites, Russia the Elektro-L, Japan the Himawari, and Europe operates the Meteosat range of satellites.

Conclusion

This article not only described weather satellites but the workings of satellites in general. This is necessary, as weather satellites use basic satellite design and operation to function.

One needs to understand how weather satellites operate in principle before one can focus on the instrumentation and positioning that make them unique.

And this is precisely what this article aimed to accomplish: Describe what a weather satellite is and how it works. And then, continue to describe what makes these satellites different and highlight the different types of weather satellites.

Never miss out again when another interesting and helpful article is released and stay updated, while also receiving helpful tips & information by simply  clicking on this link .

Until next time, keep your eye on the weather!

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What Is A Dust Storm, And How Does It Form?

What Is A Dust Storm

If you live in an arid or semi-arid region characterized by loose dry soil, you may be familiar with and used to dust storms. For the rest of us, it's not an occurrence we can simply dismiss as a localized event.

A dust storm is a meteorological event that typically occurs in arid and semi-arid regions when large sections of fine loose dirt and sand are picked up by strong winds and blown into the atmosphere. It creates a dense wall of dust that can stretch for miles and be thousands of feet in height.

Dust storms can affect regions thousands of miles away. In fact, it can even cross oceans and affect countries on other continents. Dust from the Sahara desert in Africa can reach as far as the Amazon in South America and even parts of the United Kingdom.

We mostly associate dust storms with their negative effect on humans and the environment. However, they also have some unexpected positive impacts in some regions, as you will learn in a later section. 

This article will examine what a dust storm is, how it is formed, and what its effects are. We also take a brief look at how often this phenomenon occurs.

Dust Storm Definition

Before one can start examining how a dust storm develops, we first need to define what precisely a dust storm is: 

What Is A Dust Storm?

What Is A Dust Storm

A dust storm is a meteorological event that occurs in arid and semi-arid regions when large sections of fine loose dirt and sand get picked up by strong winds and blown into the atmosphere. This occurrence creates a wall of dust that can stretch for miles and be thousands of feet high.

Also called a sandstorm, this meteorological occurrence creates a wall of dust that can stretch for miles and be thousands of feet high. Strong winds can transport and displace large quantities of dust or sand over hundreds or thousands of miles during this process.

Even though many regard dust and sandstorms as the same phenomenon, dust particles are smaller and lighter, allowing them to be lifted higher into the atmosphere and travel over longer distances.

What Causes A Dust Storm?

For a dust storm to occur, the right conditions must be in place. These conditions include very loose pieces of dirt or sand, preferably spread out over a relatively large flat space. The vital component, though, is a strong wind to start and maintain the process.

The winds responsible for a dust storm normally originates from a thunderstorm or a strong pressure gradient. (A strong pressure gradient happens when air changes from an area of high to low pressure over a short distance, resulting in a strong wind.)

What Causes A Dust Storm

As the wind blows over the ground, it loosens and picks up pieces of soil, which allows them to start to creeping and speed up and even briefly become airborne.

This leads to a process called saltation (where dirt gets picked up into the air before falling back to the ground.) Each time a piece of soil hits the ground, it gets broken down into smaller parts.

Once the dust particles are small enough, it stays suspended in the air. The process takes place over a large area, where billions upon billions of dust particle gets picked up and mobilized by the wind. This process creates the thick wall of dust we know as a dust storm.

At at any time during the creation of a dust storm, the creeping, saltation, and suspension of dust particles into the air all take place simultaneously to create this storm system.

Human activities further contribute to the creation of dust storms. Deforestation is leaving increasingly large areas of earth exposed to dry out. Large-scale crop farming in semi-arid regions also leave thousands of hectares of dry soil exposed when no crops are planted.

Effects Of A Dust Storm

Dust storms have several widespread consequences. Many of the well-documented repercussion is also well-known, but there are also one or two unexpected benefits. Some of the most important effects of a dust storm include:

1) Structural And Vegetation Damage

The combination of strong wind and dust particles of different sizes can cause severe damage to houses, buildings, and structures. Dust and sand can also bury large parts of a city or towns, especially low-lying areas like streets, motor vehicles, and smaller structures.

Some dust storms are strong enough to blow over trees and completely remove large sections of vegetation. It can also have a devastating effect on the agricultural sector, where complete crops can be destroyed over large areas. 

2) Desertification

Desertification is the process through which changes in climate, as well as human activities, cause a growing section of the planet to turn into deserts.

The irony of this process is that desertification allows for more dust storms to occur. In return, these storms remove large portions of topsoil from neighboring regions, which further contribute to the desertification process.

3) Effect On Human And Animal Life

People caught in dust storms can experience short-term effects like impaired vision, burning throats, and difficulty breathing. Larger sand particles can cause abrasions and irritation of the skin. In severe cases, some of these effects can have long-term consequences.

One of the serious consequences, though, is the damage to the human respiratory system. Dust storms can seriously affect people with existing respiratory problems, but long-term exposure to dust can also lead to the development of new related ailments.

Animals in the open don't have the same protection humans do, which means a significant number of these creatures perish during a dust storm. It leads to a substantial loss in livestock in areas frequently hit by dust storms. Wildlife is unfortunately also not immune.

4) Reduced Visibility

Dust Storms - Reduced Visibility

As is the case with dense fog and blizzards, a dust storm can dramatically reduce visibility. This has a severe impact on all kinds of transport, especially road and air traffic.

It can be so severe that roads may be forced to close and flights delayed or canceled. In the long term, it has a negative effect on the larger economy as well.

5) Fertilization Of The Amazon

As mentioned at the start of this section, a dust storm can have a positive impact as well. Large storms can transport dust over vast distances, especially when carried by winds in the upper atmosphere. It can even reach as far as the Amazon Rain Forest in South America.

The deposition of dust (soil particles) in the Amazon leads to a welcome replenishment of soil and also helps to fertilize the ground. This process helps to sustain and promote plant and tree growth in this critical part of the Earth.

How Long Do Dust Storms Last?

They may be big and impressive, but dust storms do not last nearly as long as you might expect. They usually last for a few minutes, and at the most, an hour.

However, some dust that gets kicked up in the atmosphere stays over cities and towns for days and weeks, contributing to the air pollution in the region. If it gets caught by winds in the upper atmosphere, it can also be transported over longer distances, as you already saw.

Conclusion

As you might have realized while reading this post, dust storms may not last that long, but they pack a powerful punch and cause a lot of disruption and damage over a short period.

After reading this article, you will know exactly what a dust storm is, how it is formed, and its effects on the environment and human/animal life.

Never miss out again when another interesting and helpful article is released and stay updated, while also receiving helpful tips & information by simply  clicking on this link .

Until next time, keep your eye on the weather!

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Solar Radiation – What It Is, How It Forms, And The Different Types Of Solar Radiation

What Is Solar Radiation

We are all very familiar with sunlight and know it originates from the sun. But it is just part of a much bigger picture. The visible light from the sun only forms around half of the total solar radiation.

Solar radiation is the term used to describe the electromagnetic radiation or radiant energy emitted by the sun. Approximately half of it falls within the visible short-wave section observable to the human eye, while the other half falls within the ultraviolet and infrared part of the spectrum.

It leaves us with some questions, including what the remainder of solar radiation consists of and what happens to it. We also don't know how this radiant energy affects us, the weather, and our environment.

Most observers don't even know how solar radiation is created in the first place and how it manages to travel so far to reach the earth's atmosphere.

In this article, we explore these questions, define what solar radiation is, how it gets produced, and also take a look at the different types of solar radiation.

What Is Solar Radiation?

Before we can examine how the sun produces solar energy and explore its characteristics in more detail, we first need to define solar radiation.

Solar Radiation Definition

Solar Radiation Definition

Solar radiation is the term used to describe the electromagnetic radiation (or radiant energy) emitted by the sun. Approximately half of it falls within the visible short-wave section observable to the human eye, while the other half primarily falls within the ultraviolet and infrared part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

It is the wavelength of the different types of solar radiation that allows them to be visible or hidden from our view. The solar radiation with wavelengths that falls within the visible part of the radiation spectrum is the sunlight that we can see.

The longer wavelengths of infrared light make them fall outside the visible range of the solar spectrum, while ultraviolet light's shorter wavelengths also make them fall outside the visible scope.

How Does The Sun Produce Energy

Solar radiation is the energy produced by the sun as a result of massive internal processes. In a nutshell, it is the sun's ability to create a powerful nuclear fusion in and around its core that allows it to emit such a massive amount of energy in the form of light and heat. 

Sun Surface

The whole process starts in the sun's core. Due to the immense pressure and temperatures present in its nucleus, hydrogen gets converted into helium, which creates a nuclear fusion which is responsible for the massive amounts of energy released.

To better understand the sheer magnitude of forces involved, the pressure at the core is estimated to be 25.33 trillion KPa (the equivalent of 250 billion atmospheres) and the heat 15.7 million degrees Celsius (28.26° million degrees Fahrenheit) during this process.

Almost all this energy gets produced within 24% of the Earth's radius. The remainder of layers that make up the sun's composition transfer the heat to the surface, where it reaches the solar photosphere (the surface of the sun), which emits the solar radiation into space.  

The amount of radiation energy the sun releases into space every second is equivalent to the energy created by 1.82 billion thermonuclear bombs. These massive amounts of solar radiation propagate through space, where it reaches Earth and other celestial bodies.

The Types Of Solar Radiation

Solar radiation consists of three different types of electromagnetic radiation:  

  • Visible Light
  • Ultraviolet Radiation
  • Infrared Radiation

Visible light makes up 42.3%, infrared radiation 49.4%, and ultraviolet, a fraction above 8% of the total solar radiation reaching Earth. To best way to understand each form of radiation and its influence is to examine each one separately. 

Visible Light

Visible light is the sunlight we experience, which is responsible for illuminating the earth and atmosphere. Depending on cloud cover, the light is usually at its brightest during noon and at its weakest during sunrise and sunsets.

The light we receive reach us in three different ways:

  • Direct Radiation
  • Diffused Radiation
  • Reflected Radiation

It is the combination of all three sources of light that determines how much light we receive in total. The intensity of the light also varies, depending on which type of light is dominant.

Direct Radiation

Direct Radiation

Direct radiation occurs when the sunlight travels directly to the Earth's surface without any interference. It creates the strongest light intensity and is also the most beneficial type of lighting for equipment utilizing solar energy, for example, solar panels.

It also usually casts dark and well-defined shadows.

Diffused Radiation

Diffused Radiation

Diffused radiation occurs when light hits particles in the atmosphere and gets scattered in all directions. The most common example is the light that travels through clouds, resulting in a less intense light that comes from and is spread in multiple directions.

Depending on the cloud thickness, diffused radiation can cast light to no shadows at all. 

Reflected Radiation

Reflected radiation is just what the name suggests. It is the sunlight that gets reflected off an object in a general direction. The amount & focus of light that gets reflected depends on the properties and texture of the object from which the light reflects.

Reflected Radiation

For example, can asphalt absorb the vast majority of incoming radiation and only reflects around 4 percent of the light. Snow and ice, on the other hand, can reflect as much as 90 percent of all light. 

When it comes to shadowcasting, reflected light has "multitasking abilities." Depending on its texture, the sun can cast a shadow on the reflective surface. In turn, the reflective surface can cast a strong enough light to create shadows behind objects.


The ability for diffused and reflected radiation to spread light in all directions, and not just straight down (as is the case with direct radiation), is the reason we can see inside our homes and areas covered in shadows.

All three light sources combine to allow light to spread fairly evenly on the surface of a region, with brightly lid areas and shadows also scattered throughout the region.

Ultraviolet Radiation

Ultraviolet radiation forms the smallest part of solar radiation by contributing just over 8 percent to the total amount. It is not visible to the human eye since its wavelengths are shorter than the minimum required to fall within the visible part of the radiation spectrum.

Solar Radiation Spectrum

Although ultraviolet light makes up just over 8 percent of the total amount of solar radiation, it is the most dangerous and damaging form of radiation. It can be divided into three different types of UV light:

  1. UV-A (wavelength of 320 - 400 nm)
  2. UV-B (wavelength of 280 - 320 nm)
  3. UV-C (wavelength of 100 - 280 nm)

The shorter the wavelength, the more damaging the UV radiation is. This makes ultraviolet-c radiation the most dangerous of the three types. Luckily it makes only 0.5 percent of total solar radiation, and the vast majority can't penetrate the ozone layer.

Ultraviolet-A and B, however, are able to penetrate through the ozone layer. The band of energy that makes up ultraviolet-B is very damaging and is one of the primary causes of skin cancer in humans. It also inhibits photosynthesis in some types of plants.

Ultraviolet-A is less damaging but can still cause severe sunburn in human beings. It also has a more significant effect on plant life, as it inhibits photosynthesis in many plants more than UV-B radiation can.

Infrared Radiation

Infrared Radiation can be found on the opposite side of solar radiation with longer wavelengths, which makes it fall outside the visible part of the radiation spectrum. It makes up 49.4 percent of the total amount of solar radiation.

Infrared Radiation is a major source of heat that is primarily responsible for warming the Earth's surface. The warming process is possible since water and carbon dioxide can efficiently absorb and convert the radiation into heat.

Infrared radiation can also be reflected much easier than visible and ultraviolet light as a result of its longer wavelengths. This attribute is important since it allows ultraviolet radiation to exchange heat between the ground & water surface and the air.

Conclusion

After reading this post, you will realize just how true the opening statement is. Sunlight is essential for all life on the planet, but still only forms part of a much bigger picture that is solar radiation.

In this article, we examined what solar radiation is, how it is formed and also looked at the different components that make this form of electromagnetic radiation.

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The Impact Of Weather On Aviation And The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Bad Weather And Air Travel

The Impact Of Weather On Aviation And The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Bad Weather And Air Travel

Whether you are a frequent flyer or occasionally take a flight to a given destination, the chances are good that you experienced a few unsettling moments during one of those flights.

With the weather getting more volatile and extreme by the year, it's time to take a serious look at the impact these meteorological conditions will have on aviation.

In this post, we examine the effect increasingly inclement weather events have on air transport, and also look at some of the most frequently asked questions about bad weather and the problems it creates in air travel.

Impact of Weather On Aviation

Even in the best weather conditions, airplanes may still experience some "inconveniences" during a flight. Turbulence, crosswinds, and air pocket are just a few normal atmospheric conditions that most passengers consider as part of a routine flight.

You can imagine how increasingly inclement weather can severely impact not just an aircraft's ability to fly but also to take off in the first place.

airport

What is important to remember is that all forms of extreme weather can have a significant influence on flights. One usually tends to associate cold and stormy weather with canceled or delayed flights.

Although they may be the biggest culprits, they are not the only factors that may cause substantial delays in planned flights. Heatwaves, heavy rain showers, gale-force winds, and low visibility (fog) can all lead to major disruptions at airports and in the air.

Especially with weather conditions getting more extreme on an increasing basis, these events are forcing airports, air traffic controllers, and aircraft manufacturers to take action. Some of them include:

  • Increased resources and more focus on fast, accurate weather forecasts at airports and air traffic control centers.
  • Airports are making contingency plans for delayed or canceled flights.
  • A rethink and change in airport infrastructure and runway construction to cope with worsening climate conditions.
  • Aircraft manufacturers planning, building, and testing aircraft to endure the harshest weather conditions.    

These are just a few of many measures already considered or implemented in the aviation industry throughout the world.

The best way to understand the different inclement weather conditions that have a significant impact on all aspects of weather is to address the questions most frequently asked about bad weather and air travel.

Frequently Asked Questions About Bad Weather And Air Travel

To help you better understand the weather conditions that will impact your air travel, including flight delays, cancellations, and flying conditions, is to answer the most frequently asked questions about inclement weather and aviation:

Can Planes Fly In Thunderstorms?

Airplane and Thunderstorm

Apart from snow or icy weather, this is the type of weather that concerns passengers the most. And not without merit. The strong winds, hail, and downdrafts can severely damage or destroy a plane.

Sometimes the cloud system exceeds 35 000 feet (10 670 meters), which is higher than the cruising altitude of an airliner. They can also be up to 12 miles (19.3 kilometers) wide. This makes it difficult for an aircraft to fly over or around in some cases.

It does not mean planes cannot fly during thunderstorms. But pilots try and avoid flying through it at all costs. Today's accurate weather forecasts allow airlines to plan ahead and create flight plans to avoid thunderstorms.

Even if a thunderstorm develops unexpectedly, the radars in modern airplanes cannot only detect heavy clouds ahead but "see" inside the clouds to determine their density. It allows pilots to decide whether to reroute their planes or carry on through a storm system.

Luckily, the design of more robust and durable aircraft, combined with accurate weather forecasts and advanced radar systems, resulted in no fatal crashes in recent times.

The bottom line is that aircraft can fly in thunderstorms but prefer to reroute and fly around them. Only as a last resort will pilots fly through one, and the design of modern aircraft allows them to withstand the majority of light to mild thunderstorms.  

Can Airplanes Fly In Rain?

Airplane and Rain

In the vast majority of cases, the answer is yes. Rain can look much worse than it is, and modern airports and aircraft are more than able to withstand a substantial amount of rain.

There are exceptions and a few dangers, though. One of the side-effects of heavy rainfall is reduced visibility. In extreme cases, pilots may have to abort the takeoff during showers until visibility is restored to a safe level.

On rare occasions, if an aircraft flies through a heavy shower, an engine flameout can occur (where the flame in the engine's combustion chamber is extinguished, causing it to stop). In basically every instance, though, a pilot can restart the engine if such an event occurs.

Freezing rain occurs in the upper troposphere, where water droplets below freezing point freeze on contact with objects. It can freeze on an aircraft's wings which may cause a plane to stall on rare occasions. In practically every instance, the pilot is able to regain control.

Can Planes Fly In Extreme Cold Weather?

Airplane and Cold

The answer is a definite yes. Cold conditions actually favor the performance of aircraft. Cold air has a high density, which allows aircraft to create lift more quickly and needs less runway for take-offs. Aircraft performance and responsiveness are also better in cold air.

Aviation fuels can cool down to -40° Fahrenheit (-40° Celsius) before freezing on the ground, which means ground staff only need to keep the temperature above this level. In the air, the fuel is kept warm as it moves through the engine. 

If you take into consideration the fact that at cruising altitude, the average temperature is -70° Fahrenheit (-57° Celsius), you will realize that cold conditions pose no real threat to aircraft and airports.

What is a danger, though, is the conditions that accompany cold weather. We will look at these conditions in the following sections. 

When Do Flights Get Cancelled Due To Snow?

Airplane and Snow

If enough moisture is present in the air, freezing conditions can quickly lead to the occurrence of snow. Although a light snowfall will not cause much concern (as long as the runway remains clear), a heavy snow shower can lead to significant problems.

As soon as a layer of snow and or sludge is present on the runway, it becomes unsafe, and airport authorities will prevent aircraft from taking off or landing until the runway is cleared.

A layer of snow or sludge makes a runway slippery and can cause aircraft to hydroplane or slide when trying to take off or land, which can lead to potentially fatal accidents.

Another factor that can be influenced by snow, especially when the wind is blowing as well, is visibility. As soon as a snow shower starts to limit visibility to the point where pilots and authorities deem it to be too dangerous, aircraft will not be allowed to take off.  

Ultimately, it is up to an individual airport's ground control staff and pilots to make the final decision on whether or not to fly in snowy conditions. 

Can Aircraft Take Off Or Land In Icy Conditions?

Airplane and Ice

The same dangers and resulting restrictions that apply to snow or sludge on a runway also apply to ice on the asphalt of airports. Ice that melts often causes an ice-covered runway, as low temperatures cause it to freeze again and form a layer of ice.

Ice on a runway is even more slippery than snow or sludge, and although it poses the most significant danger for aircraft coming into land, it makes taking off very difficult as well.

What causes extended delays in these conditions is the fact that ice is very hard to remove from a runway. Ground staff is also wary of using aggressive methods to clear ice off the asphalt, as the equipment can easily damage the surface (or pavement) of the runway.

The biggest danger, however, is the icing that occurs on aircraft on the ground. The ice that accumulates on the wings, fuselage, and tail of a plane can result in a variety of problems.

The sheer weight of ice alone can cause an aircraft to lose the ability to take off, as not enough lift can be generated to carry the additional mass into the air.

Even if carrying the additional weight is possible, the ice on the wings would have deformed the shape of the wings, as well as freezing the flaps and other mechanisms used for taking off, gaining altitude, and staying in the air.

As a result, de-icing a plane becomes a necessary but time-consuming procedure that must be performed on all aircraft with any amount of ice on them.

This procedure needs to be performed very thoroughly, as even small amounts of ice left on a plane can lead to much bigger problems later on during a flight.

Can Planes Take Off In High Winds?

Airplane and Wind

The answer is yes, in most cases. Modern aircraft are designed to withstand a tremendous amount of pressure caused by severe winds. Since air movement is such an integral part of aviation, pilots also get extensively trained to cope with every kind of wind condition.

There are limitations, however, when extreme wind conditions are present. Depending on the size and weight of an aircraft, combined with the wind speed, airports and pilots can set their own restrictions on when conditions are too dangerous to take off.

Why Can't Airplanes Take Off in Extreme Heat?

Airplane and Heat

Heat is probably the last thing that comes to mind when you think of possible weather conditions that will adversely affect aviation.

It has a much larger effect on takeoffs and landings than you may think. The first problem that heat creates is that air expands in warm conditions. In extreme heat, the air expands so much that aircraft cannot generate enough lift under their wings to become airborne.

The runway length required by airplanes to gain enough speed to take off or slow down after landing is just not currently available at any international airports.

Aircraft engines already generate a substantial amount of heat. When very hot conditions exist in the atmosphere, it can severely impede the engine's performance. It includes its ability to maintain a steady rate of climb and the ability to stay airborne after takeoffs.

Extreme heat can also cause an aircraft engine to exceed its maximum operating temperature, which can cause damage, and in severe cases, lead to engine failure.

Conclusion

By answering some of the most frequently asked questions about inclement weather and air travel, this article endeavored to explain how weather affects aviation in different ways.

After reading this post, I trust you will have a much better understanding of how both airports and aircraft operations are influenced and put under pressure by increasingly volatile and extreme weather conditions.

Never miss out again when another interesting and helpful article is released and stay updated, while also receiving helpful tips & information by simply  clicking on this link .

Until next time, keep your eye on the weather!

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The Orographic Effect And Its Effect On The Weather

The Orographic Effect And Its Effect On The Weather

It is widely accepted that warm & cold fronts, winds, and other atmospheric variables lead to changes in weather, but so can a region's physical surroundings. The orographic effect is one such case.

The orographic effect (or orographic lifting) describes the process of air rising as it moves over an elevated terrain, like a mountain. The rising air leads to a drop in temperature, which results in condensation, cloud formation, and possible precipitation on the windward side of an elevation.

The term will probably sound a bit foreign, but one will definitely be familiar with the physical environment and atmospheric conditions that the term refers to.

Depending on the location where you live, you may be surrounded by vast flat plains, mountains, valleys, or situated next to the ocean. All these surrounding topographic features have a much more significant effect on the local weather than you think. 

In this article, we look at what the orographic effect is and how it develops. We also examine its impact on the environment.

Orographic Effect Definition

Before we can look at the occurrence in more detail, we first need to clarify what precisely the orographic effect means:

What Is The Orographic Effect?

What Is The Orographic Effect

The orographic effect (or orographic lifting) describes the process of air rising as it moves over elevated terrain, like a mountain. The rising air leads to a drop in temperature, which results in condensation, cloud formation, and possible precipitation on the windward side of an elevation.

Air cools down with an increase in altitude under normal circumstances. It rises due to a variety of factors. Surface air rise when the ground beneath it gets heated by solar radiation. When a cold front cuts underneath a warm front, it forces the warm to rise.

During orographic lifting, however, there are no atmospheric conditions or weather elements that cause the air to rise. In this case, the air is raised "artificially" as the terrain it travels over starts to increase in height sharply.

The most significant consequence of this phenomenon is the orographic rain that is a direct result of the forced elevation with an increase in the height of the physical terrain.

Orographic Rainfall: How It Is Formed

In the previous section, the process through which orographic rain occurs has already been described in part. The best way to understand this type of rainfall, though, is to describe the complete process.

How The Orographic Effect Forms

When the air reaches the mountain or escarpment slopes, it is forced to rise with the elevation of the physical terrain. As it gains altitude, the temperature starts to drop as a result of adiabatic cooling*. The air continues to cool as it keeps rising along the slopes.  

(*Adiabatic cooling is the reduction in heat due to the expansion of air. As air rises up into the atmosphere, the barometric pressure lowers, allowing the air to expand and cool down. This process takes place without any heat added or taken away from the system.)  

When air reaches dew point (the temperature at which water can no longer stay in its gaseous state) while still rising along the mountain slopes, condensation takes place.

If enough moisture is present in the clouds, the water droplets they contain will grow large enough to lead to precipitation. The amount of rainfall can vary from light drizzles to torrential downpours, depending on the amount of moisture contained in the clouds.

Effect Of Orographic Lifting On Vegetation

The process and influence of the orographic effect do not stop with the cooling down of air and resulting precipitation against a mountain's rising slopes. 

The Creation Of Two Very Different Weather Conditions

By the time the air reaches the top of a mountain, it is cold and dry as a result of adiabatic cooling and precipitation that took place. Usually, on the leeward mountainside, the terrain drops in elevation at the same rate as the windward side.

With the lowering terrain, gravity forces the dry air down the mountain slopes. As it descends, the air gets compressed as a result of the increasing barometric pressure closer to the ground. The compression causes the air to warm up through adiabatic heating.

The Effect On Vegetation

The cold, moist air on the windward side and the warm, dry air on the leeward side of a mountain have a significant effect on vegetation.

Weather Conditions On Windward Slopes

Often, orographic lift occurs where a mountain is situated close to the ocean or large body of water. The moist winds that blow from the shores result in a constant supply of water to the mountain slopes facing the sea or lake, resulting in large-scale precipitation.

Windward Mountain Slopes

It is not surprising then to find lush vegetation on the windward slopes of mountains. Often, these slopes receive rain during large parts of the year as a result of a constant source of moisture from the ocean, as well as prevailing winds blowing from the sea.

Farmers and other businesses involved in the agricultural industry take advantage of this phenomenon by planting crops and developing plantations up the slopes where the largest percentage of rainfall takes place.

You can find some of the densest and lush regions of the world's rainforests around the tropics in South America and Africa on the windward sides of mountain slopes. It is a direct result of orographic lifting and the resulting constant precipitation.

Weather Conditions On Leeward Slopes

Sometimes, only 10 - 20 miles (16 - 32 kilometers) away from the cold, rainy atmospheric conditions, the weather cannot be more different.

Leeward Mountain Slopes

The cool, dry air that gets drawn down by gravity accelerates down the mountain slopes and warms up as a result of adiabatic heating. The result is warm, dry weather conditions, often accompanied by strong winds. The Chinook winds in the United States are a perfect example.

This means very little, if any, plant growth can occur in this climate. Where the windward side of a mountain may experience rainfall of 80 - 100 inches (2032 - 2540 millimeters), the leeward side of the elevation can receive as little as 10 inches (254 millimeters) or less.

As a result, large arid or semi-arid areas can be found on the leeward side of the mountain. In extreme cases, desert-like conditions can extend over vast regions.

The dry climate created on the leeward side of a mountain as a result of the orographic effect is also known as the rain shadow effect. 

Examples Of The Orographic Effect

The orographic effect/lifting occurs throughout the world on a large or very localized scale. There are too many occurrences list each one, but here are a few examples that will help to get a better understanding of what this phenomenon looks like in practice:

In the United States: The western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California.

  • In India: The Khasi and Jayantia Hills.
  • In Australia: The Great Dividing Mountain Range in Southern and Eastern Region.
  • In Europe: The Southern Andes Mountains facing the Pacific Ocean.
  • In Africa: The northwestern face of Table Mountain.
  • In Norway:  The Oppland Mountain.

These are just a few of the many regions experiencing orographic lifting. 

Conclusion

As this article clearly illustrated, even though the term orographic effect may sound foreign to you, the actual occurrence takes place all around the world and can literally be situated right on your doorstep.

The aim of this post was to highlight the orographic effect, define the occurrence, and explain the process through which it occurs.

You may want to have another look at your surroundings because wherever you may live, you will not find yourself far from a region experiencing the orographic effect.

Never miss out again when another interesting and helpful article is released and stay updated, while also receiving helpful tips & information by simply  clicking on this link .

Until next time, keep your eye on the weather!

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What Is Precipitation, What Are The Types Of Precipitation, And How Do They Form?

What Is Precipitation, What-Are The Types Of Precipitation, And How Do They Form

The term may not be as well-known as some of the more common names it goes by, but precipitation is one of the most important elements of weather and climate and essential for all life on Earth.

Precipitation refers to water that falls to the ground in a liquid or solid state. Water droplets or ice crystals in the air formed as a result of condensation or sublimation collide, merge, and become too heavy to stay airborne and fall to the surface. It can take the form of rain, snow, or hail.

In short, precipitation is nothing more than water in all its form that falls on the ground as a result of gravity. 

No matter what form it takes, once water particles grow and become too heavy to stay suspended in the air, gravity takes over, and it starts falling to the ground.

In this post, we examine what precipitation is, the different forms of this occurrence, and how it is formed.

What Is Precipitation?

From the introduction alone, you already should have a pretty good idea of what precipitation is. For the sake of clarity, it is better to get a complete and formal definition.

Precipitation Definition

What Is Precipitation

Precipitation refers to water that falls to the ground in its liquid or solid state when water droplets or ice crystals, which formed as a result of condensation or sublimation, collide and merge and become too heavy to stay suspended in the air. It can take the form of rain, snow, hail, or graupel.

As you will soon learn, all types of precipitation form in the same way, with only a few variables making the difference. And it's mostly the type of environment (clouds), temperature, and winds that determine the type of precipitation that will reach the ground.

How Does Precipitation Form?

Precipitation is mainly the result of evaporation and condensation. The form of rain can vary according to the different variables present. Without these two processes, though, it will not be possible for any precipitation to form at all.

There is more than one way for precipitation to take place, but one of the most common ways is also the best to use to explain the process.

As the sun heats the surface of the earth, over land or water, it also warms up the air directly above it. Since warm air is lighter than cold air, it starts to rise into the atmosphere as it expands.

The heat also causes moisture on the ground and surface water to evaporate, adding to the water vapor already present in the air.

Since air temperature drops with altitude, the rising warm air starts to cool down. Once it cools down to the point where the water can no longer stay in its gaseous form, condensation takes and small water droplets form.

As a result, precipitation takes place in the state dictated by the surrounding atmospheric conditions and variables.

There is a multitude of ways for evaporation and condensation to take place, but they are all based on the key principles described in this section. 

Types Of Precipitation

Even though numerous categories and subcategories of precipitation exist, we will only focus on the eight most commonly found ones. One can classify the majority of other forms of precipitation under any one of the following types:

  1. Rain
  2. Freezing Rain
  3. Snow
  4. Graupel (Snow Pellets)
  5. Snow Grains
  6. Hail
  7. Sleet (Ice Pellets)
  8. Ice Crystals (Diamond Dust)

By looking at each form of precipitation in more detail, you will also realize that the most significant difference between them, is the manner in which they are formed.

1) Rain

Rain is the most common form of precipitation that occurs across the world and is the most significant contributor to the water cycle. Before we can examine how it forms and what its characteristics are, we first need to define what exactly rain is.

What Is Rain?

Rain

Rain is water in its liquid state. When condensation takes place in temperatures above freezing point, water vapor in the atmosphere turns from its gaseous state back into its liquid state. Small water droplets form as a result.

As the small water droplets bump into each other, combine and grow in size, it becomes too heavy to stay suspended in the air and falls to the ground as a result of gravity.

Some classification systems make a distinction between rain and drizzle. It is unnecessary since the only difference is the size of the raindrop. If it has a diameter of 0.5 mm (0.0197 inches) or less, it is classified as a drizzle. Any larger and the drop gets classified as rain.

A misconception exists about the shape of a raindrop. Most people view the teardrop shape as the shape of a drop of rain. It is not the real shape of a raindrop at all. Learn more about the true form of raindrops and why it gets confused with the teardrop shape in this article.

2) Freezing Rain

Freezing rain very seldom starts as supercooled waterdrops. It is usually rain or snow that melts before encountering a much colder layer of air. To define what freezing rain is:

What Is Freezing Rain?

Freezing Rain

Freezing Rain forms when raindrops get supercooled as they travel through a layer of air with subzero temperatures. The resulting icy droplets immediately freeze when they come in contact with objects on the ground.

Since it creates a uniform layer of ice on the objects and surface of the ground, freezing rain can create hazardous conditions. The relatively thin, smooth layer of ice is almost invisible to the naked eye.

These slippery conditions can be lethal for road goers, as it is easy to lose control and slide on the smooth surface. It already led to numerous road accidents in the past. Pedestrians can also occur serious injury when walking and slipping on the ice-coated ground.  

3) Snow

Subzero conditions and enough water vapor in the atmosphere are two of the most important ingredients necessary for the formation of snow. But what is snow?

What Is A Snow?

snowflake

Snow is a collection of ice crystals that form around pollen or dust particles when water vapor condensates around them in sub-zero temperatures (below 32° Fahrenheit or 0° Celsius).

When the ice crystals collide with each other, they cling together and grow in size. When enough ice crystals join together, they form a snowflake.

As more crystals and other snowflakes get added to the main snowflake, it grows in size and weight. When it becomes too heavy, it starts to fall to the ground due to the Earth's gravity.

Snowflakes have a light and soft physical nature as it is made up of a collection of ice crystals, and can easily lose its shape or get crushed on the ground.

Under perfect conditions, it has the hexagonal (six-sided) shape most people associate with a snowflake. In real-world situations, though, this very seldom happens.

4) Graupel

Also known as snow pellets, graupel is an interesting form of precipitation. It is neither a solid hailstone nor a snowflake but rather a combination of both. The way it is formed has everything to do with its unique characteristics.

What Is Graupel?

graupel

Graupel is formed when snow falls through an area of supercooled water.

Upon contact, the water freezes around the snowflake and rimes it, resulting in the formation of graupel.

Graupel cannot be classified as a form of hail or ice pellet, as it does not consist of solid or made up of layers of ice. Instead, it is lighter and more fragile as a result of the snowflake structure inside the layer of rime.

On the ground, it creates a layer of unstable ice that can easily be crushed or deformed. 

5) Snow Grains

As the name suggests, snow grains are very small pieces of ice.

What Are Now Grains?

Snow Grains

Snow grains are small flat pieces of solid ice, usually less than 1 millimeter in diameter.

They typically fall from stratus clouds or fog and in small numbers at a time.

Due to their small size and the fact that they never fall in the form of a shower, they are often seen as the frozen equivalent of drizzle.

6) Hail

Hail is probably the most well-known type of precipitation that consists of solid ice. Not many observers are aware of how these sometimes golfball-sized balls of ice balls are formed.

What Is Hail?

hail

Hail is solid layered balls of ice that form as water droplets are carried up high in the atmosphere through updrafts in storm systems. At these altitudes, they are exposed to temperatures below freezing point, causing them to freeze into hailstones.

Updrafts keep carrying the hailstones up into freezing air, adding a layer of ice each time until they become too heavy and fall to the ground.

Hail commonly occur in clouds with a large vertical buildup like cumulonimbus clouds and supercells where strong updrafts are present. Hailstones also vary in size from only a few millimeters to the size of tennis balls.

Depending on the size of the hailstones, a hailstorm can be devastating and cause extensive damage to infrastructure, vegetation, and transport. It can also cause injury, and in some cases, be fatal to humans and animals.

7) Sleet

Also known as ice pellets, sleet is often confused with hail. Although there may be similarities in appearance, sleet is different in structure and the way it forms.

What Is Sleet?

Sleet

Sleet is the small ice pellets that form when snow or other frozen objects fall through a layer of warm air. 

It melts into a liquid form before falling through another layer of air with subzero temperatures, which cause it to freeze again and form small pellets of ice.

Since it is much smaller than hail, it does not pose any significant threat to infrastructure, vegetation, and transport. It does, however, result in slippery conditions on surfaces like roads which motorists often underestimate.

8) Diamond Dust

Diamond dust is also known as ice crystals or ice needled and, as the name suggests, very small in size. (Basically, the same size as a drizzle.)

What Is Diamond Dust?

Diamond Dust

Diamond Dust is tiny ice crystals that form close to the ground and at temperatures below -30° Celsius (-22° Fahrenheit).

It has the physical appearance of a low-lying transparent cloud.

This almost microscopic-sized form of precipitation gets its name from the sparkling effect of the sun's light reflecting off the ice crystals.

Conclusion

As you can clearly see, precipitation comes in many forms. From solid ice to light drizzle and everything in between, the impact on the environment and the conditions it creates can also vary widely.

In this post, we defined precipitation, listed the most common forms it can take, and described their formation and characteristics.

Never miss out again when another interesting and helpful article is released and stay updated, while also receiving helpful tips & information by simply  clicking on this link .

Until next time, keep your eye on the weather!

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The Elements Of Weather And Climate And The Instruments Measuring Them

The Elements Of Weather And Climate And The Instruments Measuring Them

We experience them every single day and have learned to associate them with various weather conditions. In fact, most of us will be very familiar with the different elements of weather and climate.

The elements of weather and climate are the individual atmospheric variables that work together to create different weather conditions and establish climate patterns. The primary elements include temperature, air pressure, wind, humidity, precipitation, visibility, clouds, and sunlight exposure.

At any point during your day, you experience temperature by feeling hot or cold. Even though you don't recognize it, you also experience the effects of humidity and atmospheric pressure. Well, you just experienced 3 of the elements that make up weather and climate.

Let's first quickly the elephant in the room for many of you. Yes, there is a difference between weather and climate. You can read all about it here. But the elements that make up both are the same.

When I talk about weather elements throughout this article, you can safely assume that, for the most part, I include climate in the discussion. It's just faster and less repetitive to refer to weather only for the purpose of this post.

As you would have guessed by now, in this article, we look at the different elements that make up the weather. We will examine what they are, define each component, and also look at the instruments that measure each element.

What Are The Elements Of The Weather And Climate?

Weather is nothing more than the different elements it is composed of, as well as the way they interact with each to create different atmospheric conditions or weather events.

Before we can discuss them in detail, we first need to identify what the elements are that make up the weather. Eight primary elements/factors drive all weather:

Weather Elements Collage
  1. Temperature
  2. Air (Atmospheric) Pressure
  3. Wind (Speed & Direction)
  4. Humidity
  5. Precipitation
  6. Visibility
  7. Clouds (Type & Cover)
  8. Sunshine Duration

We can now look at each one in more detail.

1) Temperature

We all know what temperature is. When discussing the weather, this will probably be one of the first topics that come up. It is because we are so sensitive to temperature and quickly become aware of feeling cold or hot.

We know what it feels like, but what exactly is temperature?

What Is Temperature?

Temperature

Temperature is a measurement of the amount of kinetic energy present in the air, which manifests itself physically through the experience of heat or cold.

The scales typically used to measure temperature are Celsius, Fahrenheit, and Kelvin. The instrument used to measure temperature is called a thermometer.

In more practical terms, it means that the particles in the air move or vibrate at a certain speed, which creates kinetic energy. When the particles start to move/rotate around faster, temperature increases. When the particles begin to slow down, the temperature also starts to decrease.

Instrument For Measuring Temperature

The thermometer is the instrument used to measure temperature. They come in all shapes and sizes and date all the way back to 1714. The mercury, bimetal, and digital thermometer are the 3 most commonly used instruments for measuring ambient temperature.

If you want to learn more, you can get more detailed information about the different thermometers and how they work in the following article.    

2) Air Pressure

Air pressure is another essential element of weather, especially when it comes to creating or changing atmospheric conditions. It is also one of the critical variables used to make accurate weather forecasts.

What Is Air (Atmospheric) Pressure?

Air Pressure

Air Pressure is the result of the pressure created by the weight of the air in the Earth's atmosphere.

It is also called barometric pressure, named after the instrument used to measure air pressure.

Although it may not be visible, air has weight since it is not empty. It is filled with small particles of nitrogen, oxygen, argon, carbon dioxide, and a few other gases.

The weight of the particles in the air creates pressure due to the gravitational force of the Earth. Since more air is present above the air close to the ground, air pressure is the highest on the planet's surface and decreases as altitude increases.

Instrument For Measuring Air Pressure

The barometer is the instrument used to measure air pressure. Evangelista Torricelli developed the first device in 1643.

Like the thermometer, the barometer also comes in different forms. Some examples include mercury, water, aneroid, and digital barometers.

If you need more information, you can find in-depth information about the different types of barometers, how they work, as well as their history in this article.

3) Wind (Speed & Direction)

The movement of air (wind) is one of the main driving forces of weather. The majority of major and even extreme weather events like cold & warm fronts, clouds, thunderstorms, and hurricanes are all driven by wind.

What Is Wind?

wind

Wind is the large-scale movement of air from an area of high to an area of low pressure in the atmosphere.

The speed and strength of wind are determined by the distance between the low-pressure and high-pressure areas, as well as the difference in air pressure.

Everyone has a pretty good idea of what wind is, so no need to go into more detail here. If you want to learn more about what exactly wind is, how it is formed, and its impact on the surroundings, you can find it in this article.

Instruments For Measuring Wind Speed And Direction

The anemometer is the instrument used to measure wind speed. Consisting of 3-4 half-cups on arms rotating around a central axis, you can typically find it on top of a weather station or at an elevated position.

A wind vane (or weather vane) is the instrument used to measure wind direction. It is a flat-shaped object that spins freely on an axis. Very often, in the shape of an arrow or cockerel, you can also find it on top of a weather station or highly elevated objects.

It is common to see them on top of roof chimneys, church towers, and even communication towers. If you need to, you can find more information about anemometers and wind vanes in the same article mentioned in the previous paragraph.

4) Humidity

Humidity is another weather element that cannot be seen but can be felt. It not only plays a big part in weather formation but also directly influences our physical comfort levels.

What Is Humidity?

Humidity

Humidity is the amount of water vapor that is present in the atmosphere at any specific time.

Water vapor is nothing more than water in a state of gas (after the liquid has evaporated). Although humidity and its effects can usually be felt, it is normally invisible to the naked eye.

Humidity can be challenging to understand and interpret correctly. Then you also have to be able to make a clear distinction between absolute and relative humidity.

The subject is too comprehensive to cover in this post, but you can read the in-depth article covering humidity in detail here.

Instrument For Measuring Humidity

The hygrometer is the instrument used to measure wind speed. You also find more than one type of this device, like the psychrometer and the resistance hygrometer. You can find out more in the same article mentioned in the previous paragraph.

5) Precipitation

There is no argument that water in any of its forms is an absolute necessity for life on Earth to exist. Humans, animals, and plants need water to grow or stay alive, and precipitation is the only way to replenish the dams, rivers, reservoirs, and groundwater on which we rely.

What Is Precipitation?

precipitation

Precipitation is water in its different states, which form after condensation turned water vapor into its liquid or solid form, which falls to the ground after it becomes too heavy to stay suspended in the air.

Precipitation can take the form of rain, snow, hail, or graupel.

Precipitation is primarily the result of evaporation and condensation. To learn more, you can find out what these processes are, how they develop, and how they result in precipitation in this article

Instrument For Measuring Rainfall

A rain gauge is the instrument used to measure rainfall. It is essentially a measured container that captures rain and measures the amount that falls over a set period of time.

You can learn more about the different types of rain gauges and how they work in the following article

6) Visibility

Visibility may seem like a very unlikely element of weather but it is especially important when discussing & measuring weather conditions like fog, mist, freezing drizzle, and smog.

What Is Visibility?

Visibility

Visibility is the measurement of the degree through which an object can be observed over a certain distance.

This measurement is crucial when conditions like mist, haze, fog, and freezing drizzle are present, which can severely impede visibility.

The importance of the ability to measure this element is often underestimated. It is especially applicable in areas where visibility plays a crucial role, like airports and harbors, where it can literally be a matter of life or death.

Instrument For Measuring Visibility

Visibility sensors like the "forward scatter sensor" are the instruments used to measure visibility. In the past, using your own vision (eyes) to measure the degree to which you can observe an object was the standard.

7) Clouds (Type & Cover)

It is no secret that clouds are one of the quickest ways to determine current and future weather conditions. Studying them in more detail with scientific equipment is very valuable to make very accurate assessments of present and feature atmospheric conditions.

What Are Clouds?

Clouds

Clouds are water droplets or water in different states (like ice and snow crystals), which formed after water vapor reached condensation level and could no longer remain in gaseous form.

Knowing how to identify a certain type of cloud and the weather associated with it can prove valuable when assessing weather conditions with only visual references. You can all about the different clouds and their characteristics in this article.

Instrument For Measuring Clouds

The advanced instruments meteorologists use to study clouds in detail are weather satellites and radars. Satellite and radar images are able to accurately measure cloud density, the amount of moisture, the temperature, and the movement of the clouds.

8) Sunshine Duration

The amount of sunshine the Earth receives (which is a characteristic of solar radiation) greatly influences other elements of the weather like ambient temperature, and more indirectly, humidity and air pressure.

What Is Sunshine Duration?

Sunshine Duration

Sunshine duration is the length of time the Earth's surface is directly exposed to solar radiation.

It is also referred to as sunlight hours and measure the amount of exposure over a set period of time (generally in hours per day or year.)

As already stated, sunshine duration influences other weather elements, which can change the whole makeup of the weather conditions. This ability makes it a more powerful and influential factor than you might think.

Instrument For Measuring Sunshine

Sunshine recorders, more specifically Campbell–Stokes recorders, are the instruments used to record sunshine duration. Campbell–Stokes recorders basically consist of a spherical lens that focuses sunlight on a specific type of tape to make its measurement.

Conclusion

This article thoroughly explained the eight elements that make up the weather, what they are, and which instruments are used to measure each one.

There are smaller elements influencing the weather and climate as well but are not as impactful as the eight elements discussed in this post.

Never miss out again when another interesting and helpful article is released and stay updated, while also receiving helpful tips & information by simply  clicking on this link .

Until next time, keep your eye on the weather!

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