Daily, we look out of the window to understand the state of the weather and probably tell how the day will look like. With understanding how the day will look, we can dress for such weather. The weather affects us in more ways than one and it can also influence how we feel and look at the world.
The weather, simply, is the temporary state or condition of the atmosphere. The weather is influenced by, among others, air pressure, temperature, and moisture. Here are some 35+ incredibly amazing facts about the weather.
Some scientists believe climate change is the cause of unprecedented melting of the North Pole, and that effects these very uncertain weather patterns. I think we should listen to those scientists and experts.
~ Dalai Lama
35+ Amazing Facts About the Weather
Fact 1: The weather influences migration patterns: The weather and climate are responsible for migration patterns in both humans and animals.
The great wildebeest migration, for instance, occurs between July and September, where wildebeests, gazelles, zebras, and other animals migrate in thousands from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the Maasai Mara in Kenya, seeking fresh grazing.
Millions of people are also migrating due to crop failure, water scarcity and the rise in sea levels.
Fact 2: Damages caused by weather results in billions of dollars across the globe: The weather can get wild in an instant, causing a lot of damage. Averagely, 100,000 people are killed in weather-related accidents every year.
They include tornadoes, hurricanes and floods. Hurricanes alone cost the United States about $28 billion each year.
Fact 3: Lightning has about 6 million strikes every day: There are about 8.6 million strikes of lightning every day. The perfect place to see lightning strikes is Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela, where there is an 80% chance of experiencing a nocturnal thunderstorm.
Fact 4: Thunder is caused by lightning: Once lightning strikes, it takes several seconds before we hear the thunder. However, thunder does not come after lightning, but instead, is caused by lightning. The speed of sound in air is slower than the speed of light, meaning we will see the lightning first, before hearing the thunder
Fact 5: The wettest place on earth is Mawsynram, Meghalaya, India: The UK is known for many things, including the fact that it is almost ever rainy. However, Mawsynram, Meghalaya, India is the wettest place on the planet. The village receives more than 11 meters of rainfall every year.
Fact 6: The driest place on earth Antofagasta, Chile: In contrast, the driest place on earth is Antofagasta, Chile. The city receives less than 0.1mm of rainfall every year and it can go for several years without receiving any rainfall altogether
Fact 7: Lightning is hotter than the sun: At the time lightning strikes, it is hotter than the sun. lightning is an electrostatic discharge, supercharged from ionized air, and as it finds its way to earth, it releases massive bolts of electricity. The temperature of lightning can reach 30,000°C, about five times hotter than the surface of the sun
Fact 8: Worms prepare for a flood: Worms wriggle up to the surface of the earth before a flood. It is because they cannot get oxygen when the soil is flooded and as such, they come up to the surface to breathe.
Fact 9: Lightning strikes the same place: it’s like lightning has a highway it follows, as it often strikes the same place, especially if that location is a tall, pointed and isolated object. The Empire State Building, for instance, gets struck by lightning about 23 times each year.
Fact 10: The hottest temperature recorded was in Greenland Ranch in Death Valley, California on July 10, 1913: There are some really hot places on earth, including the Gulf countries and in hot deserts.
However, Greenland Ranch in Death Valley, California recorded the highest temperature ever on July 10, 1913, with the temperature hitting a record 7°C (134°F).
Fact 11: The lowest temperature recorded was on July 21, 1983, in Vostok, Antarctica: On the flip side, the lowest temperature ever recorded was on July 21, 1983, in Vostok, Antarctica, with the temperature hitting a genital-shrinking -89.2°C (-128.5°F).
Fact 12: During flashes of lightning, it is advisable to stay indoors as it is very risky and can cause death: Being outdoors when there are bolts of lightning, is a very risky thing to do. In fact, being underneath a tree is the second-highest cause of lightning deaths. Just stay indoors and avoid metal and wire conductors.
Fact 13: Highest recorded rainfall was in 1956, in Unionville, Maryland and in Reunion Island in 2007: On April 7, 1956, in Unionville, Maryland, 23 inches of rain fell in just 60 seconds.
To date, that is the highest recorded rainfall in one minute. The most rainfall in a week ever recorded was on Reunion Island in 2007 and was 5 metres, enough to cover a lorry
Fact 14: Lightning can result in forest fires: Lightning releases a bolt of electricity. Also, smoke and carbon microparticles present in the upper regions of the atmosphere can initiate static.
Such static can spark discharge, turning into lightning, which has resulted in massive wildfires in the coast of Brazil, Peru and Hawaii, burning acres of sugar cane. 10,000 forest fires in the US every year are also caused by lightning
Fact 15: The windiest place on earth is Chicago: Chicago is often referred to as the Windy City, as the city is very windy. However, the windiest place on the planet is Cape Denison, a rocky point at the Commonwealth Bay in East Antarctica, with winds reaching 153km/h
Fact 16: “Raining blood” has been recorded: Between July and September 2001, in Kerala, a southern Indian state, it rained blood. Well, it was not actual blood, but red rain. It was first thought to be because of a burst meteor, but a study concluded that the red rains were colored by airborne spores
Fact 17: Hurricane Irma is the longest-lasting hurricane or typhoon ever recorded: In September 2017, Hurricane Irma hit several Caribbean Island nations such as Cuba, the Bahamas and also the US state of Florida.
Fact 18: Rivers have frozen due to extremely cold weather: Sometimes it gets very cold that rivers freeze. For instance, the Mississippi River froze over its entire length in 1899. Also, the River Thames in the UK froze solid for two months in 1684.
Fact 19: There are 13 types of storms: There are 13 recognized different types of storms. They are tornadoes, squalls, gales, windstorms, and dust devils, which are recognized by their wind patterns.
There also are hailstorms, blizzards, snowstorms, thunderstorms, ice storms, and tropical cyclones. Typical cyclones can also be known as tropical depressions, hurricanes, tropical storms, typhoons or just cyclones, depending on your location
Fact 20: Earth can be colder than Mars: Logic dictates that the farther a planet is from the sun, the colder it gets, as it will receive less sunlight.
Fact 21: First weather measuring and the oldest device is the rain gauge: The rain gauge, is the oldest and first weather measuring device to be discovered. It was first used around 500BC by Ancient Greeks and 400Bc by Indians.
Fact 22: Hurricanes can push more than 6m of water ashore: Hurricanes are destructive and can actually push more than 6m of water ashore. In 1992, Hurricane Andrew was responsible for about 900 Burmese pythons escaping capture in Florida.
Studies showed that the hurricane and subsequent escape of the pythons into the Florida Everglades led to a 99% decrease in the population of racoons and opossums, with some species of rabbits and foxes disappearing completely.
Fact 23: Heavy snowfall can completely diminish visibility: Heavy snowfall or a whiteout, makes it incredibly difficult to see, and can also make you feel sick. In Antarctica, snowfalls so hard sometimes that you might not be able to see your hand in front of your face.
Fact 24: The sunniest place on earth is Arizona (Yuma): Yuma, Arizona, receives over 4,000 hours of sunshine each year. This makes the city the sunniest location on earth.
Fact 25: The least sunny place on earth is the South Pole: In contrast, the South Pole receives sunshine on about 182 days of the year. This means for half a year, the South Pole does not receive any sunshine, making it the least sunny place on earth.
Fact 26: Longest lasting tropical storms is about 31 days: Hurricane John was a tropical storm that changed its status from a hurricane to a typhoon and back to a hurricane.
This happened because it was the longest-lasting Pacific tropical storm in 1994, lasting 31 days and changing the dateline twice. The longest-lasting Atlantic tropical storm was known as Ginger, lasting 28 days in 1971.
Fact 27: Evaporation of water is up to 4000 gallons daily: Warm temperatures lead to the evaporation of water. One acre filled with corn produces 4,000 gallons of water through evaporation each day
Fact 28: Hurricane happens every year: In 1907, there were four tropical storms in the Atlantic and none was strong enough to be classified as a hurricane. It makes 1907 the only year the Atlantic failed to receive a single hurricane, over the last century
Fact 29: Lightning is sexist! Lightning seems to prefer to strike men over women with about 85% of its victims being men. Surprisingly, of those struck by lightning, the fatality rates are higher in women than men. Additionally, 90% of lightning strike victims survive
Fact 30: The weather outside earth is different: One of the most famous landmarks in the solar system is Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. It is famous because of an anticyclonic storm that has been in existence for at least 300 years
Fact 31: The various seasons of the year are linked to the earth’ tilting axis at an angle of 23.5°: The earth is tilted on its axis at an angle of 23.5°. This means the sunlight is incident at different angles at different times of the year.
In June, the Northern Hemisphere is tilted more towards the sun, making it summer in the north and winter in the Southern Hemisphere.
The reverse is also true in December, making it summer in the south and winter in the north because then, the Southern Hemisphere is tilted more towards the sun
Fact 32: Human activity affects the weather: We live in a world where climate change is taking its toll on the weather and human and animal lives also. It comes from the fact that pollution from factories, machinery and vehicles is contributing towards the greenhouse effect, which is causing global warming.
Due to this, polar ice caps are melting, disrupting the lives of polar bears and other polar animals, sea levels are rising and the ozone layer is gradually being damaged, exposing us to harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun.
Fact 33: It takes 8 minutes for sunlight to reach earth: It takes 8 minutes for the sun’s light to reach the surface of the earth.
Fact 34: Tropical countries are very warm: They are countries that lie along the equator, like Brazil, Kenya and Indonesia. With the equator running through them, it means they are closest to the sun, despite the earth’s tilt of 23.5°.
They, therefore, have a tropical climate and with extreme temperatures, it can become dangerous, mainly for humans, especially if they are exposed for prolonged periods.
Fact 35: Tundra are the coldest climates: Conversely, countries closest to the poles have some of the coldest weather in the world. Because of this, they hardly have trees. They include Greenland, Russia and Canada. They experience long winters and short, yet cold summers.
Fact 36: Traditionally, people predicting the weather by looking at plant and animal behavior: Long ago, people used to look to plants and animals, such as birds migration, for hints or prediction of weather.
Frogs croaking faster, sheep’s wool uncurling, ants forming a line, cows lying down, and pine cones opening up were used to predict the coming of rains. These predictors still exist, although people rarely use them due to the advancement of technology.
“30 Freaky Facts about the Weather!. (n.d.). National Geographic Kids. Retrieved from https://www.natgeokids.com/za/discover/geography/physical-geography/30-freaky-facts-about-weather/
Despotakis, C. (2019). Weather trivia: 65 amazing facts about our daily frenemy!. Useless Daily. Retrieved from https://www.uselessdaily.com/science/weather-trivia-65-amazing-facts-about-our-daily-frenemy/
Morrison, M. (2018). Burmese python invasion in Florida a hidden legacy of Hurricane Andrew. CBS News. Retrieved from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/burmese-python-invasive-species-in-florida-hurricane-andrew-legacy-cbsn-originals/