Earth’s Systems

Severe Weather

What’s Severe Weather?

It’s when the weather gets really wild and can cause damage, disrupt our lives, or even be dangerous. This includes things like big thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, heavy snowstorms called blizzards, and more.

Kinds of Wild Weather

Let’s get to know some of these weather bullies:

  • Thunderstorms: These are strong storms with thunder, lightning, heavy rain, and sometimes hail. They can also create tornadoes.
  • Tornadoes: These are like giant wind funnels that come down from thunderstorms to the ground. They’re the most destructive of all small-scale weather events.
  • Hurricanes: Known as cyclones or typhoons in other parts of the world, hurricanes are large, spinning storms with fast winds. They form over warm ocean waters.
  • Blizzards: These are big snowstorms with strong winds, cold temperatures, and low visibility because of blowing snow.
  • Floods: While not a storm, floods often happen because of severe weather. They occur when an area gets more water, from rain or melting snow, than it can get rid of.

Guessing the Wild Weather

Meteorologists, or weather scientists, use cool tools like radar, satellite pictures, and computer models to guess when severe weather will happen. They look for specific patterns and changes in the sky that show a severe weather event might be coming.

For example, tornadoes often come from severe thunderstorms. Meteorologists look for signs of spinning within the storm on radar, as well as other clues like drops in air pressure and specific cloud shapes.

Staying Safe in Wild Weather

Understanding severe weather isn’t just about science; it’s also about staying safe. Here are some tips:

  • Stay Informed: Keep an eye on the weather forecast, especially when severe weather is predicted.
  • Have a Plan: Make sure your family has a plan for what to do during different types of severe weather. This might include having a safe place to hide during tornadoes or knowing how to leave safely for hurricanes.
  • Prepare an Emergency Kit: This should have things like water, food that won’t spoil, flashlights, batteries, a first aid kit, and any medicines you might need.

Our Weather Adventure

Severe weather can be scary, but knowing how these events happen and what to do when they come can help keep us safe. It’s a reminder of how powerful nature is and how important science is in helping us guess and prepare for these events.