All the weather vocabulary that you are likely to encounter when studying the geography topic of weather. These weather words come complete with the correct geography definition. From atmosphere and anemometers to warm fronts and wind chill, if you are learning about weather, we have all the weather words clearly defined. Read on to find out more.

Weather vocabulary

Air pressure


- The force of air pressing down on the ground or any other horizontal surface. It is sometimes also called atmospheric pressure.
- A device for measuring the wind.
- Also known as a high, this is a body of air in which the air pressure is higher than the air around it.
- The layer of gases surrounding the earth, it stretches about 1,000 km into space. All weather takes place in the lowest layer.
- An instrument that provides a continuous record of air pressure on a strip of paper wound around a revolving drum.
- An instrument for measuring air pressure. The most accurate type is the mercury barometer, which measures the distance pressure forces mercury up a glass tube containing a vacuum.
Geography topics for you to learn and enjoy

A barometer measures air pressure and predicts the weather based on the air pressure readings. 

weather words with definitions
Cold front


- A wind storm in which snow is blown into the air by strong winds at speeds of 56 kph or more, reducing visibility to less than 400 m.
- The normal pattern of the weather conditions in a particular place, averaged over a long period of time.
- Feathery clouds that form at high altitudes, where the air is very cold.
- Masses of condensed water vapour and ice particles floating in the sky. There are ten different types of clouds, all based on the three main cloud types: cumulus, cirrus and stratus.
- The boundary line between warm and cold air masses with the cold air moving towards the area of warm air.

Lightning from the air to the ground is called fork lightning and if it goes from a cloud to a cloud, it is called sheet lightning.

river words with their definitions | rivers vocabulary | rivers geography
- The change from a gas, such as water vapour, to a liquid, such as water.
- The transfer of heat by the vertical movement or air or water. It is the mechanism that makes warm air rise.
- The type of cloud that produces heavy rain showers, thunderstorms and tornadoes.
- Large, fluffy cloudswith flat bases and rounded tops often seen in sunny weather.
- Also known as a ‘low’, this is a body of air where the air pressure is lower than that which surrounds it. It is also the name used to describe hurricanes that form in the Indian ocean and south-western pacific.
- A weather system where there is a centre with low pressure. It is also sometimes known as a cyclone.
- Moisture in the air that has condensed on objects at or near the earth’s surface.
river words with their definitions | rivers vocabulary | rivers geography

Satellites in space are used to observe the atmosphere helping meterologists to predict the weather.

- Light rain made of drops that are smaller than 0.5 mm in diameter.
- A cloud near the ground that has reduced visibility to less than 1000 m.
- The boundary between two air masses with different characteristics.
- White ice crystals that form on cold surfaces when the moisture in the air freezes.
- A very strong wind that blows of speeds of 52-102 kph.
- A sudden temporary increase in wind speed.
- Rounded drops of ice that fall from clouds.
- The amount of vapour that is in the air.
hail stones

Hail stones can be very large indeed and create a lot of damage, mostly to farmers' crops.

Jet stream
- A tropical cyclone that occurs in the North Atlantic with winds over 121 kph blowing around an area of low pressure.
- A line on a weather map that joins places of similar air pressure together.
- A band of very strong winds in the upper atmosphere, that can reach speeds of over 300 kph.
- A visible discharge of static electricity from a cloud.
- The scientific study of our weather through observations of the atmosphere.
- A unit of measurement, used to denote air pressure.
- The seasonal shift in wind direction that can lead to wet seasons alternating with periods of dry weather.
Prevailing wind
Rain gauge
Rain shadow
- All forms of water that fall to the ground or form near it. It can include: rain, hail, snow, dew and fog.
- The direction from which the wind normally blows.
- An instrument used to collect and measure the rainfall.
- An area of low rainfall, on the sheltered side of a hill or mountain range.
- A haze that forms in polluted air in strong sunshine.
- Ice crystals that fall from clouds during cold weather. They may stick together to form snowflakes.
- Strong winds, between gale and hurricane force, of 103-121 kph. They are strong enough to uproot trees and damage property.
- A vast, dull type of cloud that forms at low altitude.
weather geography
Warm front
Wind chill
- A rising current of warm air.
- The sound made by expanding air during a flash of lightning.
- A narrow spiral of air rotating at high speed around an area of extremely low air pressure. Wind speeds can reach in excess of 300 kph.
- A tropical cyclone that starts over the Pacific Ocean.
- A boundary line between two air masses where the air behind the front is warmer than the air ahead of it.
- The sensation that the air temperature is lower that it really is because of the effect of the wind.

The weather

affects us everyday.