The same scene in different weather conditions (clockwise from top left): fog, sunshine, rain and snow Weather is the conditions and changes that take place in the lower atmosphere, up to about 20 kilometres (about 12 miles) high. It includes temperatures by day and night, wind speed and direction, cloud type and cover, rain, hail, snow, frost, ice, droughts and storms. Weather can change by the minute or from day to day. The study of the weather is called meteorology.
Weather plays an important part in our lives. For example, without rain, our crops would die, but too much rain can cause floods. It is therefore very useful to be able to predict what the weather has in store for us. To do this, weather forecasters gather information about weather conditions from satellites in space and weather stations.
During the European heatwave of August 2003, the River Danube in Serbia fell to its lowest level in 100 years, exposing bombs and tanks submerged since World War II. Around 15,000 people died due to the heat in France.
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