Welcome to the atmosphere
The atmosphere is all around us. Nearly every moment of our lives, we're submerged in it, like hermit crabs surrounded by water. In fact, we're so used to the atmosphere that we don't really think about it very much. But the atmosphere – and the whole world – is amazing.
We need the atmosphere to live. It gives us air to breath, surrounds us with a nice temperature (most of the time!), and protects us from the most dangerous of the sun's radiation.
Weather is an important part of people's lives. Farmers rely on rain for their crops. In some parts of the world, like India, people rely on the monsoon (a very wet seasonal rainfall) to bring water to their homes. In years when the monsoon is weak, life can be more difficult.
Weather can be dangerous. Tornadoes can bring devastating winds. Lightning can electrocute and start fires. Hurricanes can have terrible winds, torrential rains, and dangerous storm surge. But if you keep an eye out and know what to do, you can enjoy the weather and stay safe too.
The atmosphere transports heat. It might not sound exciting, but the atmosphere is important for moving heat from the equator to the poles. In fact, temperature differences – for instance between the equator and poles and between night and day – is why we have weather in the first place.
Weather can be fun. Despite everything else, weather is amazing. After all, if it weren't for the wind, how would we fly kites? How would we sail boats? And who doesn't like watching a powerful thunderstorm roll in, rumbling with deep bellows of thunder and jolting electricity through the sky?
So, do you want to know more?
If so, dig in. Read the other sections of this website. Find other websites too! Check out books at the library. Look for documentaries and read forecasts. Go outside and watch the weather yourself. If you'd like a place to start, I'm putting together a list of Resources. And if you have questions, I'm usually around, so feel free to Ask a Weather Detective.
Do some of these things, and you'll be well on your way to becoming a junior weather detective yourself.