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Weather Symbols and the Weather Map

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Basics on the topic Weather Symbols and the Weather Map

In this video, Uma tries out a weather machine. Can she control the weather with this remote? Not so fast, Uma! Watch Uma as she learns about the weather map and the meaning behind the symbols on it.

Transcript Weather Symbols and the Weather Map

What does Uma have there? Is that a weather machine and a remote control? She just pressed the cloud symbol. Can she use it to control the weather? Let's take a look at "Weather Symbols and the Weather Map"! On weather maps like this one, you can read exactly what the weather will be like in a place using symbols. Weather symbols are just pictures that show the type of weather like sun, rain, and wind. But who makes weather maps in the first place? That's what weather people, or meteorologists, do. They study and describe the weather. To do this, they use weather stations around the United Kingdom and all over the world. They collect lots of information each day so weather maps can show the weather for several days. But do you know what the weather symbols mean?
Let's take a look at the most important ones on a weather map of the United Kingdom. Let's start with the sun symbol here in Exeter.
What does it mean? "It's going to be SUNNY in Exeter." There are no clouds, only the sun! Don't forget your sunglasses and sun cream! But what if there is ONE cloud in front of the sun? Like here in Southampton. Then it is a little or "partly cloudy". You can say, "It will be PARTLY cloudy in Southampton." The sun is still out, so we can still enjoy the outdoors! Can you find the CLOUD symbol on Uma's weather map? HERE near London. In London, it will be cloudy. There will be many clouds in the sky, but no rain just yet. And how is the weather in Manchester? There is a cloud WITH rain. That means .. it's going to rain in Manchester. In the city, we'll probably need an umbrella, a rain coat and welly boots. Have we looked at all of the symbols already? Not quite, there are many other forms of rain. Like hail, for example. This is the hail symbol here near Newcastle upon Tyne. Do you also see a cloud with raindrops and lightning? Yes! Near Belfast, Northern Ireland. The symbol tells you: There will be thunderstorms in Belfast. Thunder and lightning are coming. It could get loud! We should go indoors. And how will the weather be in Aberdeen, Scotland? There is a cloud with snowflakes. Snow is supposed to fall in Aberdeen. We need warm clothes here. "But what do the wavy lines mean here in Edinburgh, Scotland?" They show fog: It will be foggy in Edinburgh. Be careful, you can't see well here! Wow, that was a lot of weather symbols. Here you can see some of the most important weather symbols again. What does Uma actually do? "Oh no! Uma, we just can't control the weather with machines!"


Weather Symbols and the Weather Map exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Weather Symbols and the Weather Map.
  • What does each symbol represent?


    What sort of weather can you see in the symbol?

    For example, this symbol is partly cloudy. We can see a cloud and part of the sun.


    Here we can see the symbols matched correctly.

  • What do you know about the weather?


    What do we call these?

    What is another name for people who do the weather forecast?


    On a weather map like this, you can tell what the weather will be like in different places using symbols.

    Weather symbols are pictures that show the different types of weather.

    Weather people or meteorologists create the weather maps.

    To do this, they use weather stations around the United Kingdom and the rest of the world.

  • What might you need for the weather?


    If it is rainy, it is wet. What might you need for wet weather?

    When it is warm and sunny, we need things to keep us safe. Which of these items protect us from the sun?


    If it is sunny, you could need:

    • sun cream
    • sandals
    • sunglasses
    If it is rainy, you could need:
    • rain coat
    • umbrella
    • welly boots

  • What is the weather like?


    What can you see in the symbol?

    Remember, there are different types of precipitation.


    Here we can see the correctly labelled symbols.

  • Which is the correct symbol?


    Can you see snowflakes on any of the symbols?

    The symbol also has a cloud on it.


    This is the symbol we would see on a weather map if the weather is snowy.

  • Can you read the weather map?


    Look at the symbol next to each place name, what does it tell you?

    For example, this tells us that it will be foggy in Edinburgh.

    • In Plymouth it will be partly cloudy.
    • In Swansea it will be sunny today.
    • Today in Liverpool it will be cloudy.
    • Up in Glasgow snow will fall.
    • In York there will be storms.
    • In Cambridge you might need an umbrella as it is likely to rain.