9 Different Types Of Weather: Facts, Definitions And Forecasting

The weather affects our daily lives in a variety of ways, and there are few things on this planet that do. Notwithstanding the cruciality of the weather, many of us are unaware of the atmospheric conditions that affect everything around us.

In reality, depending on where we live and spend our time, we can experience a variety of different kinds of weather. After that, we’ll discuss nine of the most prevalent kinds of weather with you so that you can be better prepared when it comes to weather predictions for your travels.

Let’s get started!

9 Incredible Types of Weather

There are nine types of weather that nearly everyone experiences at some point in their lives, out of the several types that we may encounter. Here is a overview of nine distinct weather patterns that every potential storm Chaser should be aware of.

1. Sunshine

A beautiful, calm sunny day is the absolute best kind of weather. We can do a variety of wonderful outdoor pastimes when the sun is shining, such as hiking and climbing, or simply sitting in nature and appreciating the surroundings.

When there are few if any clouds overhead, the weather is sunny. Due to the lack of sun, we would technically refer to these circumstances as “clear” rather than “sunny.”

When there is a high pressure system or an anticyclone overhead, we generally enjoy sunny weather. Sunny conditions can be fickle, particularly if local weather patterns typically cause clouds to form in the afternoon and evening, depending on where you live.

2. Cloudy

Clouds come in a variety of shapes and sizes. But when it comes to cloudy weather, we’re generally referring to circumstances in which at least half of the sky is covered in clouds, but not all.

Cloudy weather may arise for a number of reasons, however it is generally the consequence of local or regional low pressure. Due to their local topography or weather systems, several locations experience cloudy conditions on a regular basis.

Anchorage, Alaska, for example, enjoys roughly 230 cloudy days each year. As a result, just 40% of the time do Alaskans live in the biggest city’s residents. It can be seen that not all cities are created equally when it comes to clouds, compared to the fewer than 70 cloudy days Phoenix, Arizona experiences each year.

3. Partly Cloudy

It’s difficult to define partly cloudy weather since it exists between sunny and cloudy, but it does exist.

When the sky has between 3/8 and 5/8 cloud cover, the term “partly cloudy” is used by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration). Right? How helpful!

This is because it is. If a word that you hear used all the time in weather predictions seems to be a too technical definition, then that’s because it is. When creating their forecasts, meteorologists use a limited set of terms, and the phrase “partly cloudy” refers to the overall sky condition.

Meteorologists often use a variety of forecast words to characterize the sky cover. These words all have the same meaning. There are a number of examples:

  • Clear/Sunny – 1/8 or less cloud cover
  • Mostly Clear/Mostly Sunny – 1/8 to 3/8 cloud cover
  • Partly Cloudy/Partly Sunny – 3/8 to 5/8 cloud cover
  • Mostly Cloudy – 5/8 to 7/8 cloud cover
  • Cloudy – 7/8 to 8/8 cloud cover

It’s important to note that forecasters in the United States use these definitions. Similar systems exist in other countries, however the terminology might be slightly different.

4. Overcast

When the sky is covered with a layer of uninterrupted clouds, conditions are overcast.

Overcast is defined by the World Meteorological Organization as when the sky is completely covered in clouds with no significant gaps between them.

In aviation meteorology, overcast skies are referred to as “ceilings.” If the cloud layer is situated rather low to the ground, as it may limit the flying ability of pilots operating under visual flight rules (i.e., without instruments), these circumstances can be difficult for pilots of small aircraft.

5. Raining

An overcast sky is referred to as having eight oktas by meteorologists. The amount of cloud coverage in the sky is represented by an okta as a unit of measure. As a result, 8 oktas equals the whole sky’s cloud coverage.

The reason for an area’s cloudy environment might be a number of things. With inversions and widespread low pressure over a area, it’s common to have overcast conditions.

Rainy situations are expected to be our least favorite kind of weather (and we’re positive there are others who feel the same way!).

Rainy weather is defined as having 0.01 inches of precipitation, according to meteorologists. It would be referred to as “trace precipitation” if an area received less than that amount of precipitation.

Forecasting precipitation, such as rain, is one of the most difficult weather forecasts. Our computer models just can’t account for the hundreds of variables that influence rainy weather, which makes it impossible to predict rain forecasts with any degree of certainty.

Meteorologists typically provide precipitation probability predictions (e.g., a 50% chance of rain) rather than precise predictions when they are uncertain, which is why you normally hear them providing these.

For rainy weather forecasts, meteorologists use the following terms: “​​as the chance of precipitation (represented as a percentage) of a quantifiable quantity of liquid precipitation during a given period of time at any given location in the forecast region.”

  • 10% POP – Isolated/Few Showers
  • 20% POP – Slight Chance/Widely Scattered Showers
  • 30% to 50% POP – Chance/Scattered Showers
  • 60% to 70% POP – Likely/Numerous Showers
  • 80% to 100% POP – Occasional Showers or Periods of Showers

Above all, keep in mind that it is difficult to make precise precipitation forecasts, so when rain is in the picture, be prepared for anything!

6. Snowing

Snow is a real marvel to observe, and it arguably is the most magical of all types of precipitation and weather.

Any variety of ice crystal that grows in the air and lands on the ground is referred to as snow.

Some forms of frozen precipitation, such as graupel or sleet, might be classified as snow under this definition. Several meteorologists, on the other hand, would describe these additional forms of precipitation rather than referring to them as “snow” in their predictions.

Snow can only form in the lower atmosphere when the temperatures are below freezing, as it is a form of frozen precipitation. When the weather is above freezing, you may observe it snowing outdoors, but the snowflakes will melt quickly before they can settle on the ground in these circumstances.

It might be more difficult to predict snow than rain. In reality, since some snowfall has a greater concentration of water than others, forecasting snowfall totals is, to some degree, more difficult than predicting rain.

Since the total quantity of predicted liquid precipitation, regardless of whether the weather is suitable for rain or snow, is provided by forecast models that meteorologists utilize, this is a concern. After that, meteorologists must estimate how much snow might result from this liquid water, which is a little more difficult to do.

7. Foggy

Any kind of cloud that develops at ground level is referred to as fog. Fog may occur for a variety of reasons, and certain regions of the globe are more prone to it than others.

Ground fog (also known as radiation fog) is one of the most prevalent types of fog we experience, and it usually develops at night. Advection fog, which occurs when warm, moist air passes over cold water or ground, is more likely to occur in certain locales, such as San Francisco.

Forecasting for fog is typically simple in regions where it is common. Local meteorologists are typically very good at anticipating when fog is most likely to develop in any given location, which is why they are commonly referred to as local forecasters.

It’s worth noting that in meteorological terms, even extremely dense fog isn’t considered “overcast.” The weather phenomena fog and overcast skies affect a much larger region than fog. Fog, on the other hand, may create significant inconvenience for cars and other ground modes of transportation since it substantially decreases your visibility.

8. Thunder & Lightning

Strong atmospheric convection and unstable air masses, or, in other words, the rapid rising and falling of parcels of air through the sky, are most commonly associated with this kind of weather. Thunder and lightning are frequently caused by a certain kind of cloud known as a cumulonimbus, which is one of the tallest clouds that develops in our atmosphere.

Thunder and lightning forecasting is extremely difficult. Meteorologists simply don’t have models that can replicate the intricate processes that occur in convection with sufficient precision and accuracy.

In addition, thunder and lighting may be produced by convection on a tiny or a huge scale. When meteorologists can’t determine whether a storm will bring lighting, rain, wind, or any other risks to a particular region because of very small-scale convection, it’s practically impossible.

Thunderstorms may develop very quickly, which is another challenge for forecasters. The skies may shift from calm to turbulent and chaotic in a matter of minutes when the conditions are right for strong convection.

As a result, when an area is anticipated to encounter a thunderstorm, most meteorological organizations, such as the National Weather Service in the United States, will issue warnings. However, meteorologists will prepare to keep a closer watch on the region, just in case, if this occurs. There is no promise that a storm will develop.

9. Windy

Windy weather is our final major type of weather. The weather, such as thunderstorms, may be windy in a variety of ways. Hurricanes are known to precede in some very strong winds, as well as major storm systems.

Air in motion is known as wind. Whenever there’s a pressure imbalance between two places, air flows. Air is constantly moving from high to low pressure zones. Humans perceive wind when air moves from high to low pressure.

Watch this brief video from the UK Met Office for a more in-depth explanation of how wind works:

Wind forecasting isn’t always simple, especially when a big storm appears to be headed in a particular region. It’s worth noting that predicting wind speeds over time is not the same as predicting wind gusts. Even tiny thunderstorms may generate unexpectedly fast bursts of wind that last for just a few seconds, making forecasts of wind gusts particularly difficult.

Wind has long been a major factor in human day-to-day lives, and humans have attempted to quantify it for ages. As a consequence, we’ve developed several methods for measuring and describing the wind. The Beaufort Wind Scale, which is still used today in the maritime sector, is one of the most popular strategies.

Best Sources for Weather Forecasting: 7 Top Apps & Websites

Getting an proper weather prediction and understanding the sorts of weather you may confront is important for your excursions if you spend a lot of time outdoors. However, due to the hundreds of different options available, finding the best weather apps and websites is difficult.

There are, however, certain predictions that perform better than others over the long term. Despite the fact that there is no such thing as a weather website or app that is 100% accurate. In order to assist you out, we’ve created a list of our top 7 picks for apps and sites to check before your next trip into the backcountry.

1. Weather.gov

Look no further than Weather.gov, the official website of the National Weather Service, if you’re looking for a dependable, authoritative source on weather forecasting in the US.

Up-to-date weather alerts and warnings from the experts at NOAA are provided directly through Weather.gov, one of the greatest places to get them. Despite the fact that it isn’t the most visually appealing option on our list, Weather.gov gives you far more information than you could ever want for practically every location in the US.

You can get local weather forecasts for specific places or regions at Weather.gov. You can also check out the national radar and recent forecast maps. For the meteorology nerds among us, the website also has current and historical weather and climate data for the country as a whole.

2. Met Office

National weather services, on the whole, produce some of the greatest predictions and simulations for their nation. No exception to the rule is the Met Office of the United Kingdom.

You may get up-to-the-minute predictions for the whole UK and its overseas territories (yep, even South Georgia) at the Met Office website. Other major cities around the world are also forecasts on the website, although they are most reliable for UK forecasts.

Because they make forecasts simple and easy to understand, we particularly like the Met Office as a weather resource. For anyone to use to create their own forecasts, the Met Office provides extensive weather maps and other data.

In addition, you can access the Met Office’s “specialist predictions” to receive more precise forecasts for coastal and mountain weather. In reality, the Met Office provides unique predictions for every of the UK’s main mountain zones, making it an vital resource for mountain lovers and mountaineers.

3. AccuWeather

AccuWeather, a private weather forecasting business based in the United States that operates a great website and several excellent mobile apps, is next on our list. While AccuWeather is most well-known in the United States, it offers decent predictions for much of the globe.

AccuWeather is a good source of forecasts for those who like to geek out on the weather. Most places are covered by the company’s detailed short and long range forecasts. It’s important to remember that long-range predictions are seldom very precise.

Since they offer fantastic insight on present and past weather conditions on their blog, AccuWeather is also included in our list. AccuWeather’s educational pieces are definitely worth reading if you’re interested in learning more about how a specific weather occurrence occurred.

4. YR.no

Although it is one of the lesser-known weather resources on our list, HR.no provides some of the most accurate forecasts we’ve found. The Norwegian Meteorological Institute and the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation both provide services called YR.no. You may get predictions for most regions around the globe on both a website and mobile apps.

Despite being located in Norway, YR.no is a fantastic starting point if you’re hoping for weather predictions in Europe. If you want information on future weather patterns in mountainous areas of Europe (including the UK), the service provides some of the best weather forecasts in the business.

Despite the fact that YR.no’s forecasting capabilities are largely Euro-centric, it does well in North America. YR.no is a great app to add to your weather forecasting repertoire, even if it’s not your first choice for US-based weather.

5. Windy

If you want to see real-time weather data rather than textual forecasts, our personal favorite weather app is Windy (a great option).

The app is available for both iPhone and Android. Windy is particularly useful since it enables you to build customized maps that incorporate wind speeds, surface pressure, and satellite imagery.

Windy allows you to switch between predictions from different models, such as ECMWF, GFS, NAM, and ICON. Weather variables, such as the CAPE index, are difficult to find elsewhere, and Windy has excellent maps for them. As a result, if you’re venturing into unfamiliar terrain where detailed forecasts aren’t always accessible, it’s a fantastic tool to have.

6. Windy.app

Windy is another weather forecast app. Is it possible that there’s a mistake?

Sure, there are two apps with practically the same name that provide excellent weather forecasts. Nonetheless, we understand why you might be confused since this weather information is called Windy.app (rather than the other, which is just called Windy).

Windy.app is our go-to app if you want instant access to text-based weather predictions for outdoor sports, such as hiking, sailing, or skiing. While the other Windy is our top pick for individuals who prefer to see weather maps, it’s less likely that you’ll find it on your iPhone.

Windy.app has some fantastic maps (it was awarded a prize from the World Meteorological Organization for its awesomeness), but its text predictions are unrivaled. It also provides useful information about tides in coastal regions, which may come in handy if you’re going out on the water.

One of the reasons why we love Windy.app is because it lets you toggle between different forecast models for a given area. While most weather resources only show you predictions based on one model (GFS, for example), Windy.app lets you see whether or not there are major differences between the model forecasts, which is helpful if you’re expecting severe weather.

7. Tropical Tidbits

Tropical Tidbits is, of course, the name of our last feature. Since it was created as a hobby project by a single meteorologist, Levi Cowan, rather than by a business or governmental organization, Tropical Tidbits is an outlier on our list.

Tropical Tidbits, on the other hand, is a fantastic source of information for anyone interested in weather prediction. Whenever we’re creating our own predictions for our outdoor excursions, we utilize it personally.

You can check out the most recent forecast charts for the whole planet on Tropical Tidbits. Charts that show more complicated forecast variables, such as 700 mb cyclonic vorticity, are also available. Nearly every location on the planet is shown with forecast soundings on Tropical Tidbits.

Nonetheless, Tropical Tidbits isn’t a spot for anybody who wants a straightforward answer about tomorrow’s high temperatures since it doesn’t demonstrate classic text-based weather predictions. Tropical Tidbits, on the other hand, is a treasure chest of knowledge and data if you have some weather expertise under your belt.

Leave a Comment