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Hands On Mineral Identification helps you to identify over 14,500 minerals! By M. Darby Dyar, Ph.D. See our DVD collection.


Weather is the state of the atmosphere at a given time and place. Most weather takes place in the troposphere, the lowest layer of the atmosphere.

Weather is described in a variety of ways by meteorologists, scientists who study and predict weather. Air temperature and pressure, the amount and type of precipitation, the strength and direction of wind, and the types of clouds are all described in a weather report.

Weather changes each day because the air in our atmosphere is always moving, redistributing energy from the Sun. In most places in the world, the type of weather events expected vary through the year as seasons change.† While weather can change rapidly, climate changes slowly, over decades or more, in response to changes in the factors that determine our climate.†

Hurricane Alex, a <a
  3</a> storm at its strongest, traveled north along the east coast of North
  America in August 2004 causing <a
  strong <a href="/earth/Water/ocean_waves.html">waves</a>,
  and rip tides along the coast. <a
  form</a> in the tropics over warm ocean water and die down when they <a
  over land or out of the tropics. These storms are called hurricanes in the
  Atlantic and typhoons or tropical cyclones in other areas of the world.<p><small><em>      Courtesy of NOAA</em></small></p>On May 20, 2013, a massive EF5 <a href="">tornado</a> hit Moore, Oklahoma, devastating communities and lives.  The tornado, on the ground for 40 minutes, took a path through a subdivision of homes, destroying block after block of homes, and hitting two elementary schools just as school was ending as well as a hospital. Hundreds of people were injured, and 24 were killed.<p><small><em>Image courtesy of Ks0stm, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license</em></small></p>

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA