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Understanding the Weather

Do you have an explanation of the terminology you use in weather forecasts?

The location forecasts on the website use consistent terminology to minimise the risk of misunderstanding.

The forecast phrase is a summary of the day?s weather. Day can be interpreted as the period when most people are awake. Sunrise to late evening.

Some examples of a location?s forecast:

Sunny - Sunny and dry day (although rain may still be possible overnight). Very little cloud about

Mostly sunny - Dry day (precipitation possible overnight). More clear sky than cloud

Mostly cloudy - Dry day (precipitation possible overnight). More cloud than clear sky

Cloudy - Cloud is likely to cover almost all of the sky during the day. Almost no clear sky

Overcast - Cloud is likely to cover all of the sky all day

Frost then sunny - Frost is likely to develop early morning due to the air being cold and still enough. The day is likely to be generally sunny. Sometimes this phrase will be used even if skies are likely to be partly cloudy because the frost is the most significant part of the day?s weather

Fog then sunny - Fog in the morning is likely and is likely to clear and the day will become generally sunny.

Increasing sunshine - Some cloud is likely in the morning and is likely to at least partially clear during the day        

Cloud increasing - Cloud is likely to develop or become thicker during the day

Cloud and wind increasing - Cloud is likely to develop or become thicker and wind will become stronger

Windy - The bulk of the day will be windy. Skies may be sunny or cloudy. The chance of rain during the day is small

Hazy - Skies will be hazy, either from smoke or sea spray or other visible pollution

Drizzle - A form of precipitation with small rain droplets that is likely to persist for the bulk of the day. Usually light

Drizzle clearing - Drizzle is likely and is likely to clear during sometime during the day, usually the morning

Showers - Showers are likely to occur on and off during the day

Heavy showers - Showers are likely and are likely to be heavy at times during the day

Windy with showers - Showers are likely during the day and winds will be strong at some time during the day

Possible shower - Showers are possible at any time during the day

Clearing shower - Showers are likely and are likely to clear during the day

Showers easing - Showers are likely and are likely to ease during the day. Showers later in the day are likely to be lighter or less frequent than earlier

Wind and showers easing - Showers are likely and the showers and wind are likely to ease during the day

Showers increasing - Showers are likely and are likely to increase during the day

Late shower - Showers are likely to develop during the day or evening. At least part of the morning is likely to be dry

Rain - Rain is likely to occur at anytime during the day

Windy with rain - Rain is likely and winds are likely to be strong at any time during the day

Wind and rain increasing - Rain is likely and the rain and wind is likely to increase during the day

Rain developing - Rain is likely to develop at sometime during the day. At least part of the morning is likely to be dry

Rain clearing - Rain is likely and is likely to clear sometime during the day

Heavy rain - Rain is likely and is likely to be heavy at times during the day

Rain tending to snow - Rain is likely and is likely to turn into snowfalls sometime during the day due to the temperature falling to freezing level

Snow tending to rain - Snowfalls are likely and are likely to turn into rain sometime during the day due to the temperature rising above the freezing level

Snow - Snow is likely to fall at any time during the day

Windy with snow - Snow is likely and winds are likely to be strong at any time during the day

Snow showers - Showers of snow are likely to occur on and off during the day

Snow developing - Snow is likely to develop during the day. At least part of the morning is likely to be dry

Snowfalls clearing - Snowfalls are likely and are likely to clear sometime during the day

Thunderstorms - Thunderstorms are likely at any time during the day.

Possible thunderstorm - A thunderstorm is possible at any time during the day

Late thunder - A thunderstorm is likely to develop or may develop during the day

Thunderstorms clearing - Thunderstorms are likely and are likely to clear during the day

Some examples of a district or state forecast:

Isolated showers - showers will occur somewhere in the region, but most locations will miss out.

Scattered showers - Showers will occur in the region and most locations will receive some.

Widespread showers - Showers will occur in the region and all or nearly all locations will receive some.

Rain probability and amount:

The chance of rain and the likely amount refers to the 24 hour period from 9am on the day of the forecast to 9am the next day.

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