What is the difference between weather and climate? Why are clouds important? Find out with these worksheets.

Rain, snow, fog, clouds, humidity…these are all forms of precipitation and part of the water cycle. This collection of worksheets offers short reading passages that examine different aspects of weather (including mankind's impact on it), paying particular attention to water-related phenomena. Each passage is accompanied by two question sheets for students to fill in, multiple choice and short answer. Answer keys have been provided for each sheet.

Fun Fact: Almanacs can include weather predictions for an entire year because long-term trends (measured over decades) are more stable than short-term fluctuations.

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Why does it Rain and Snow?

There is always water in the air but you can’t always see it. Water vapor is an invisible gas in the air.

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Multiple Choice Questions

Warm air holds more water vapor than cool air. For water vapor in a cloud to change into water droplets, cooler air is needed.

Short Answer Questions

When the air around a cloud gets colder, the water droplets get bigger.

What is a Cloud? - Reading Passage

Water vapor is an invisible gas in the air. It is composed of tiny particles that are very light, so that they can float.

What is a Cloud? - Multiple Choice Questions

here are three basic kinds of clouds: cirrus, cumulus, and stratus clouds.

Short Answer Questions

Clouds are very important because they return water to the earth in the form of precipitation. This water supports all of the life on earth.

What is a Rainbow? - Reading Passage

To make a rainbow, both rain and sun are necessary. The sun provides the light and colors of the rainbow.

Multiple Choice Questions

When the sun’s white light hits a raindrop, the different colors within the light slow down and separate into the seven component colors.

Short Answer Questions

Occasionally, a double rainbow is visible in the sky. The second rainbow appears above the primary rainbow and is not as bright. I

How Does the Weatherman Know the Forecast? - Reading Passage

Meteorologists use specific tools to collect information. A barometer measures air pressure. Air pressure changes usually indicate that the weather is about to change.

Multiple Choice Questions

When preparing a weather forecast, the meteorologist looks at satellite images of the earth to determine the current atmospheric conditions.

Short Answer Questions

As you know, the weatherman does not always predict the weather accurately. Even with all of his special tools and knowledge, he still has to make an educated guess about what will happen.

What is Fog? - Reading Passage

Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Warm air holds more water vapor than cool air.

Multiple Choice Questions

Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Humidity levels of near 100 percent are needed for fog to develop.

Short Answer Questions

Fog can be a dangerous weather phenomenon. By definition, fog only allows visibility of less than one kilometer.

Why does Weather Exist?

Weather is the condition of the atmosphere, including temperature, moisture, wind, and air pressure.

Multiple Choice Questions

To understand weather, first you must learn a little about the Earth's atmosphere. The atmosphere is made up of nitrogen, oxygen, argon, carbon dioxide and small amounts of other gases.

Short Answer Questions

The Sun heats the Earth unevenly and affects the atmosphere. Warm and cool air move and change air pressure.

What is Humidity? - Reading Passage

Television meteorologists often refer to the relative humidity in weather forecasts. Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air.

Multiple Choice Questions

Relative humidity is determined by an instrument called a psychrometer. The psychrometer compares the proportion of water vapor in the air to the highest amount that the air could actually hold at that temperature.

Short Answer Questions

To cool our bodies on a hot day, we depend on sweating to cause evaporation and cool our skin.

What Causes Flooding? Reading Passage

A flood is an overflowing of water onto land that is usually dry. Floods are caused by long periods of heavy rain, rapid melting of large amounts of snow, or broken dams or levees.

Multiple Choice Questions

A flashflood is a fast unexpected flood that occurs after many hours of heavy rain. It causes rivers to overflow quickly and flow rapidly.

Short Answer Questions

It is important to understand the terms used to notify the public of flood conditions.

What Causes Wildfires? - Reading Passage

Wildfires need three things to burn. Fuel, heat sources, and oxygen compose what firefighters call the fire triangle.

Multiple Choice Questions

Most wildfires are caused by people. Accidents burning leaves or other yard waste, unattended campfires, discarded cigarettes, intentional arson, faulty mechanical equipment, and unsupervised children using matches or fireworks can all result in wildfire

Short Answer Questions

Wildfires are extremely hard to stop. Firefighters use several methods to contain the fires including clearing an area around the fire to eliminate fuel and dropping water or chemicals from air tankers.

How Humans Affect Weather Passage

Climate describes the usual weather conditions in a certain area. Humans are significantly impacting the Earth's climate.

Multiple Choice Questions

Humans are also cutting down massive numbers of trees. Trees and plants convert carbon dioxide to oxygen.

Short Answer Questions

The Earth is warmed by the greenhouse effect. The atmosphere reflects and traps heat, similar to the way a greenhouse retains warmth.