1.0 What is Weather?

A seemingly underappreciated aspect of God’s creation is that of “weather.” Weather is all around us; it’s the light breeze on a bright sunny day, the rain that pours out of a dark gray sky, a pretty sunset, a raging hurricane, a Great Plains tornado, or that four letter word we all love, snow.

Scientifically speaking, weather is the state of the atmosphere at any given time and/or place. Weather describes how hot or cold the air temperature is, how wet or dry it is, or whether it’s sunny/clear or cloudy outside.

Almost all weather on Earth occurs in the lowest level of the atmosphere, the troposphere.

Simply put, weather is primarily driven by air pressure, temperature, and moisture contrasts between any two or more given locations. These differences in such elements can occur for many reasons, but the primary reason is because of the unequal heating of the Earth by the sun.

Because the equatorial regions receive the most sunlight, naturally the equator by absolute temperatures (not anomalies) is warmer than the polar regions. This sets up a large temperature gradient (contrast) between the poles and tropics, which gives rise to large-scale atmospheric circulations which thereby attempt to spread the heat out and away from the equator.