A Wind Gust is the term for an increase in wind speed of more than 10 knots (11.5 mph).
A Gale is a term used for surface wind that sustains speeds of 39 to 54mph.
A Front is the boundary between two air masses with different temperatures (or densities).
El Niño occurs when the ocean current off the coast of Ecuador and Peru warms, causing dramatic changes in weather patterns. El Niño is a fairly common occurrance – typically every 3 to 7 years.
La Niña is the opposite of El Niño. La Niña occurs when the ocean current off the coast of Ecuador and Peru cool, causing dramatic changes in weather patterns.
Sleet is a frozen or partially frozen raindrop (or a refrozed partially melted snowflake) that will bounce when it hits a hard surface and accumulate as ice.
Freezing Rain falls as a raindrop, but freezes nearly instantly when it hits the ground.
St. Elmo’s Fire occurs when the masthead of a ship begins to glow due to the buildup of electrical charge. When this happens, lightning can strike within a short time (usually less than 5 minutes).
A Low Pressure System is an area of low relative atmospheric pressure that contains convergent (outward flowing) winds and spins the same direction as the earth – counterclockwise in the Northern hemisphere, clockwise in the Southern hemisphere.
A High Pressure System is an area of high relative atmospheric pressure that spins in the direction opposite of the Earth’s rotation (clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere, counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere) and contains divergent (inward flowing) winds.