Atmospheric phenomena


The atmospheric phenomena are the phenomena that occur in the atmosphere of the earth as wind, clouds, rainfall, snow, hail and electrical phenomena. The winds , however, are the triggers of most atmospheric phenomena. They are mainly due to variations in air temperature and density from one place to another. The wind goes from the areas of colder or dense air to the areas of warmer or more dilated air and with less weight.


What are atmospheric phenomena?

Atmospheric phenomena are unusual situations that occur in the atmosphere and are caused most of the time by winds , changes in temperatures and air density from one place to another.

  • What are the atmospheric phenomena
  • How they are produced
  • Where they are produced
  • Types of atmospheric phenomena
  • Importance
  • Examples of atmospheric phenomena

What are the atmospheric phenomena

There are many atmospheric phenomena that can occur in the atmosphere , here are the most important ones:

  • Storms : they are disturbances of the atmosphere that are accompanied by winds, thunder, lightning and rain. They give rise to vertically developing clouds or cumulonimbus clouds . A storm is caused by the presence of very hot and humid air at low levels or by cold air at high altitudes.
  • Tornadoes : Tornadoes are a rotating , funnel- shaped cloud that extends from the thunderstorm to the ground, creating a series of swirling winds that can reach more than 300 miles per hour.
  • Hurricanes : they are also called cyclones or typhoons depending on where they affect and originate. It is characterized by winds of variable intensity as well as rainfall and low pressure .
  • Rain : When the clouds are heavily loaded with water, it falls by gravity forming rains or falling drops of water from the condensation of water vapor in the atmosphere.
  • Hail : they are raindrops that freeze and is defined as a solid precipitation formed by spherical, conical or lenticular ice grains that fall under their own weight.
  • Snow : is generated when the temperature of the air is below 0 C. The snow consists of ice crystals , microscopically small, falling at low speed.
  • Rainbow : Occur when, on a rainy day, drops of rain act as mirrors that scatter light in all directions, breaking it and forming the rainbow.
  • Aurora : they are produced near the Earth’s magnetic poles through its interaction with the particles carried by the solar wind .  When the particles reach Earth, they impact molecules in the upper atmosphere and ionize them , generating the glow of auroras.
  • Parhelion : it is a phenomenon of reflection and refraction of sunlight that happens when the sun is low in the sky and there are high cirrus clouds . When light is refracted, two bright spots or glows form on either side of the Sun.

How they are produced

Meteorological phenomena occur depending on the relationship that exists with certain factors such as the heat of the air, different temperatures , rotation , the inclination of the earth, latitude and altitude . Vegetation, the distance from the sea and ocean currents are factors that also influence the generation of atmospheric phenomena. They are produced by the interaction that occurs between solar energy with the Earth ‘s atmosphere .

Where they are produced

Atmospheric phenomena occur in the layer of our planet known as the atmosphere . In general, they originate in places where there are large temperature contrasts that separate a cold polar air front and a dry one from a warm and humid tropical one . Can also occur where there flows low altitude of warm and humid air coming from an ocean area combined with an air stream polar cold and dry above creates maximum instability.

Types of atmospheric phenomena

Some of the most common types of atmospheric phenomena are hurricanes , thunderstorms and tornadoes that usually cause great damage in their wake. Despite this, there are also atmospheric phenomena that are worth observing , such as green flashes, the northern lights, lenticular clouds, iridescent clouds, the three suns, the fire rainbow, the motorcycle sky and the halos.


Their importance lies in the fact that on some occasions they can be beneficial for land and crops as they help to renew the soils making them more fertile . With its passage, we realize the evolution that the planet has had, because despite its consequences, people are better prepared to face them. In addition, it gives us the power to know how our planet works , to adapt and to find the best possible means to face them.

Examples of atmospheric phenomena

Some examples of atmospheric phenomena are the following:

  • Precipitation : rain, dew, drizzle, snow, hail.
  • Clouds : cumulus, strata, nimbus, cirrus.
  • The worst tropical cyclone that has been recorded to date was in Bangladesh in 1970 and was called El Bhola , causing 300,000 deaths, although it is estimated that the deaths could even reach 500,000.
  • The most violent hailstorm occurred on April 30, 1888 in northern India , leaving 246 fatalities. The hail was the size of an orange, killing more than 1,600 farm animals .

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