Stiff wind? Gentle breeze? The anemometer measures wind speed and force, and is the instrument that will tell you if today's the day for blowing bubbles, flying a kite or hiding in the basement.
What happens when excited electrons meet magnetic fields and light? Near both of the Earth's poles, the answer is an aurora. The aurora appears as beautiful undulating sheets of shimmering lights in the sky. Near the North Pole, we call it the Aurora Borealis, but near the South Pole it's known as Aurora Australis.

Basically, a barometer measures pressure in the atmosphere. Knowing the atmospheric pressure and whether it's rising or falling gives meteorologists valuable clues as to what the weather will be like.

Forget your flurries and serene snowfalls, a blizzard is a serious no-holds-barred storm. Blizzards are snowstorms that pack winds of around 40 miles per hour, sub-freezing temperatures and severely reduced visibility.

Picture this: You're enjoying a sizzling summer day, when, all of a sudden, the sky turns black and it starts raining cats and dogs. Then, afterwards, everyone stands around soaking wet and wonders what the heck just happened. One word: cloudburst.

Have you ever noticed that sweating actually cools you off? That's because the water on your skin evaporates and lowers your temperature. Condensation is the exact opposite of evaporation: Water vapors become so intense, they collect to make actual drops or pools of water. If you've ever gone camping, those dewdrops dampening your tent in the morning are condensation.

Dew Point:
Speaking of dewdrops…The little buggers are the water droplets you sometimes see on the lawn if you're an early riser. The dew point is the temperature to which the air must be cooled for condensation to take place and dew to be formed. We see dew in the morning, because as the temperature continues to rise, the dew evaporates again into the air.

There are times we go without rain for a little while…and then there are droughts. Droughts occur when an area experiences a severe and potentially dangerous lack of rain for a long period of time. No matter how boring rainy days may be, a drought can cause major problems for local water supplies, and plant and animal life.

El Niño:
You've probably heard a lot about this little guy recently. In Spanish, El Niño means "the boy," but in weather terms, it's an immense shift in ocean currents over a long period of time that has a profound effect on global weather. When El Niño starts kickin', weather all over the world gets seriously wacky.

If you could rewind condensation, you'd get evaporation. Every liquid will turn into a gas at a certain temperature. This process of becoming a gas is called evaporation.

If you've outgrown your pants, someone's bound to point to them and yell "Where' the flood?" But a real flood occurs when low-lying areas are overwhelmed by overflowing rivers or other bodies of water. The idea of cruising down Main Street in a boat may sound cool, but floods can actually be very dangerous, causing serious damage and promoting disease.

Freezing Rain:
Despite what you might think, freezing rain doesn't start out frozen at all. Instead, it falls as regular old rain (very cold regular old rain) and freezes when it hits the ground. So if the forecast calls for freezing rain, watch where you walk—otherwise you just might fall on your butt.

Greenhouse Effect:
These weather words have sparked a lot of debate in the scientific community. When too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere combines with water vapor, the sun's heat gets trapped close to the Earth. The more carbon dioxide there is, the less heat escapes. Scientists are are divided about whether or not this effect is causing global warming, which has affected temperatures all over the world.

Gulf Stream:
Along the East Coast of the United States, there's a strong, fast-moving current in the ocean called the Gulf Stream. More generally, the term includes a series of Northern Atlantic currents.

Haze is a suspension of dust particles and smoke in the atmosphere. You can't see haze, but you know it's there when you have to work a little harder to see—and breathe!

Heat Index:
You know how you feel kinda sluggish when it's hot outside? And how when that humidity kicks in you sweat even when you're standing still? Well, the heat index basically combines the effects of heat and humidity and comes up with a figure to let you know just how sticky and gross you're going to feel while you're hanging out outside in the summer.

Heat Wave:
Aptly named, a heat wave occurs when hot, hot weather moves in over a large region and bakes it in excruciatingly high temperatures for an abnormally long time. When this happens, we suggest spending as many hours as possible in the local pool—or standing in front of the air conditioner.

Here's an easy one: Humidity is the amount of water in the air.

Hurricane(or Typhoon):
A hurricane is a massive spiral-shaped storm that packs 74 miles-per-hour winds or higher—usually MUCH higher! Hurricanes can dump billions of gallons of water and cause major damage to beachfront property. In some parts of the world, the same type of storm is known as a "typhoon.

Indian Summer:
Indian Summer is the name we give an unusually warm autumn. There's only one rule: Indian Summer can only occur after there has been a first frost. So you get all geared up for fall and winter, and then, POW, it's like July again!

Jet Stream:
Think of the jet stream as a somewhat permanent band of fast-moving air that circles the globe and moves from west to east. It's caused by global temperature changes as cold air moves toward the equator and warm air heads for the poles. Both the northern and southern hemispheres have their own jet streams.

Ozone/Ozone Layer:
Ozone is oxygen's close cousin, boasting three atoms of oxygen instead of the normal two. The ozone layer exists miles above the Earth's surface, and its purpose is to filter out harmful ultraviolet light. When there's a hole in the ozone layer, it's time to slap on some serious sunscreen.

Saturation Point:
The saturation point is the point at which the air is holding the maximum amount of water it can hold for its current temperature. Kinda like when you have to go to the bathroom really, really badly.

We put this one on the list mostly because the name sounds really cool. A supercell is just one big ol' nasty thunderstorm. Really big. SUPER big

A thunderstorm's bark can be a lot worse than its bite. It doesn't usually last long, but you'll hear a lot of thunder, see a lot of lightning and feel some serious rain for a short time. Sometimes, however, a thunderstorm can get really ugly and throw things like hail and heavy rain at us and, in some particularly nasty cases, it can even cause a tornado!

The tornado, or twister, is one of the most violent weather phenomena on Earth. In a nutshell, it's a rotating column of air that can completely wreck everything in its path. They're probably pretty cool to watch, but only from a distance. A big, big distance!

In humans, perspiration is how we get rid of excess water in our bodies (you know, sweat!). In plants, the same idea is called transpiration. The plants release water vapor, which is then incorporated into the surrounding air.

This is one of nature's craziest creations! An underwater earthquake can cause a massive tidal wave, or Tsunami. And these are not the kind of waves you'd want to shoot the curl on. These monsters have been known to mow down buildings like houses of cards! If you see a Tsunami coming, do yourself a favor: Head for the hills!

Wind Chill:
If you want to know whether to wear a sweater or a parka, it's a pretty good idea to consider the wind chill before you gear up. Wind chill lets you know what affect the wind will have on how cold you feel. It may be 30 degrees outside, but a wind chill could make it feel like -10!