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50 Essential Facts About the Weather

The 50 facts that you MUST know on your way to becoming a weather expert!

Wind is caused by the flow of gasses in our atmosphereWind
We use anemometers to measure wind speed
We can generate energy from wind by using wind turbines
We have been using wind for energy since sailing ships were invented
We use the wind for recreation with kites, wind surfing and paragliding
Not all rain drops reach the ground. Some evaporate while still fallingRain
Raindrops are not tear-shaped, as many believe
Mawsynram in India gets 11 metres of rainfall each year!
Britain's wettest day was in 2015 when Honister Pass had 34 cm of it!
The average speed of a falling raindrop is 20 mph
On hot days the Eiffel Tower grows up to 17 cm tallerHeat
The highest temperature in the shade was 57.8°C in Libya in 1922
In 1995, Chicago experienced a heat wave that caused over 700 deaths
The summer solstice is when the Sun reaches its highest point in the sky
The hottest UK temperature was 38.7°C in Cambridge in 2019
Scotland sees sleet or snow an average of 38.1 days a yearSnow
Every snowflake is a unique shape
The first snowflake photographed was in 1885
The Inuit people have at least 53 words for snow
In the UK we are more likely to have a white Easter than a white Christmas
Fog is tiny droplets of water suspended in the air close to the groundFog
There are different types of fog. Follow the link to see what they are
Newfoundland, Canada, has over 200 foggy days every year
Rainbows can appear in fog. These are called "Fogbows"
In mist you can see more than 1 km. In fog visibility drops below 1 km
Hail is frozen precipitation (rain or snow) that has a diameter of 5 mm or moreHail
Hailstones can fall at speeds of over 100 mph
The heaviest hailstone fell in Bangladesh in 1986. it weighed 1.02 kilograms
The largest fell in the USA in 2010. It had a 47 cm circumference
Hailstones have gone through roofs, broken windows and destroyed cars
A bolt of lightning is 5 times hotter than the surface of the SunThunder
In Tororo, Uganda, it thunders on more than 250 days a year
Lightning kills thousands of people a year, so stay inside during storms
The odds of being struck by lightning in your lifetime are 1 in 15,300
The fear of thunder and lightning is called astraphobia
The coldest UK temperature is -27.2°C in the Scottish HighlandsCold
The UK's worst winter was 1962/63 when there were 6 m high snowdrifts
Every winter, more than a septillion snowflakes fall. That's a 1 with 24 zeros!
In the Northern Hemisphere Earth is closest to the Sun during winter
Many times it has been cold enough for the River Thames to freeze solid
Hurricanes are tropical storms that produce heavy rainfall and strong windsHurricanes
Hurricanes rotate around a centre called the “eye", where the weather is calm
Hurricane winds can reach a speed of 175 mph (280 km/h)
In the Southern Hemisphere hurricanes rotate clockwise
Hurricanes are called cyclones and typhoons, depending on where they are
Clouds are formed by water that has evaporated from Earth's surfaceClouds
At any given time, around 67% of Earth's surface is covered by cloud
The average weight of a cloud is about 5 grams per cubic metre
Contrails are clouds formed from the water in aeroplanes' exhausts
There are 10 common types of cloud. Click the link to learn them

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