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Weather Symbols and the Weather Map


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The authors
Team Digital

Basics on the topic Weather Symbols and the Weather Map

In this kindergarten 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? 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 States 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 States. Let's start with the sun symbol here over Phoenix, Arizona. What does it mean? It's going to be sunny in Phoenix. There are no clouds, only the sun! Don't forget your sunglasses and sunscreen! But what if there is ONE cloud in front of the sun? Like here in Cape May, New Jersey. Then it is a little or "partly cloudy". You can say, "It will be partly cloudy in Cape May." 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 Seattle, Washington. In Seattle, it will be very cloudy. There will be many clouds in the sky, but no rain just yet. And how is the weather in Portland, Oregon? There is a cloud with rain. That means it's going to rain in Portland. In the city, we'll probably need an umbrella, a rain jacket and rain boots. Were those all the symbols already? Not quite, there are many other forms of rain. Like hail, for example. This is the hail symbol, here, near Dallas. There will be hail in Texas. Do you also see a cloud with raindrops and lightning? Exactly! Near Miami, Florida. The symbol tells you: There will be thunderstorms in Miami. Thunder and lightning are coming. It could get loud! We should go indoors. And how will the weather be in Chicago, Illinois? There is a cloud with snowflakes. Snow is supposed to fall in Chicago. We need warm clothes here. But what do the wavy lines mean here in San Francisco, California? They show us fog: It will be foggy in San Francisco. Be careful, you can't see well here! Wow, that was a lot of weather symbols. Here you see the most important weather symbols again. What does Uma actually do? Oh no! Uma, we just can't control the weather with machines!

  1. i love sun

    From Aleena, before 19 days
  2. It is windy at our houses 🏘️

    From Dale, before about 2 months
  3. great video

    From Emma, before 6 months

Weather Symbols and the Weather Map exercise

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


    What type of weather can you see on 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 States 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 block
    • sandals
    • sunglasses
    If it is rainy, you could need:
    • rain coat
    • umbrella
    • rain boots

  • What is the weather like?


    What can you see on the symbol?

    Remember, there are different types of precipitation.


    Here we can see the correctly labeled 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 San Francisco, California.

    • In Cape May, New Jersey it will be partly cloudy.
    • In Phoenix, Arizona it will be sunny today.
    • In Seattle, Washington it will be cloudy.
    • In Chicago, Illinois snow will fall.
    • In Miami, Florida there will be storms.
    • In Portland, Oregon you might need an umbrella as it is likely to rain.