Guest Author - LeeAnn OLeary
What causes weather?
Have you ever wondered what exactly causes weather? Many factors influence our daily weather. Weather is one thing in our lives that influences our day to day living and is also always changing. While most people if asked would say that the ideal weather for them would be sunny and warm imagine if that were to actually happen day in and day out. Imagine the drought that would follow from the lack of rain we had received. Weather influences everything from the type of clothes we wear to the outdoor activites we can perform.
But what causes influence the weather?
Weather is influenced by many conditions in the atmosphere including heat energy, moisture in the atmosphere, the winds, and the air pressure itself all interacting in the atmosphere to create our weather and weather patterns. Even though the Earth is warmed by heat rising from the surface the air temperature varies from area to area. How is this possible? The answer to this is to think about how the sun's rays hit the Earth. The warmest areas on Earth are at or near the equator. Which means that the farther away from the equator an area is the colder it will be. The areas that are closest to or at the equator receive the most direct sunlight from the sun's rays. More sunlight means warmer temperatures for that area. The jet stream can also influence the weather. The jet stream can cause air masses in the lower atmosphere to spread out which in turn then produces areas of low pressure. Low pressure areas are usually the center of local storms. Another factor that influences the weather is moisture in the air. Moisture in the air condenses and that air can then fall to the earth as rain, hail, snow, or sleet.
Can anything cause a change in the weather?
It is possible for the weather patterns to change if they are affected by an air mass or a front. An air mass is a large body of air which can influence our weather. A front is another factor that can change the weather pattern. A front is a boundary between two air masses. I'm sure you have heard air mass and front used on the local weather many times. The four different types of fronts are stationary front, warm front, cold front, and occluded front. Stormy and unsettled weather can usually be found at a front. So as you can see the weather can be influenced by many factors and this explains the reason why we don't have sunny and warm weather all year long. Which in my opinion is a good thing because I would be bored with the same weather day in and day out.