Weather Symbols Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Basic Weather Symbols
  • 0:43 Snow and Fog
  • 1:10 Fronts
  • 1:46 Pressure Areas & Temperature
  • 2:25 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: April DeBord

April has taught Spanish and English as a Second Language and she has her Ed. S. in Foreign Language Education.

What's the weather like? To check the weather, you can look at a weather map, but you will need to know some symbols. Learning how to use a weather map to spot sunny, warm weather or rainy, dangerous weather can really help you out if you want to take a trip.

Basic Weather Symbols

Mateo's family is going to take a winter trip to California, and he wants to check the weather before he goes. His teacher helped him find some images of weather symbols to help him learn about how to understand a weather map.

Snow and Fog

Mateo looked at the first six symbols in the picture. They were for:

  • Sunny skies
  • Partly cloudy
  • Cloudy
  • Windy
  • Rainy
  • Thunderstorms

His teacher asked him to tell her about one of his favorite weather experiences. Mateo explained that he and his sister always loved to watch the lightning with their grandparents during a thunderstorm. He also said he loves the sound of rain on their tin roof in the summer. They reviewed the rest of the symbols. Mateo thought they were really easy to understand.

Snow and Fog

Then his teacher showed him the weather in San Francisco on a website, which included symbols for snow and fog. She explained that it was a very foggy city because of its location on the San Francisco Bay. Fog is a low-lying type of cloud that makes it hard to see things around you.

Then they looked at the differences between San Diego and Redding, California. Mateo saw the snow symbol in Redding. He could hardly believe that there could be both sunny, warm weather and snowy weather in the same state!


His teacher then explained fronts, which are masses of air in the atmosphere. Warm air fronts are the boundaries between warm air masses and cold air masses. The warm air is trying to take the place of cold air in the atmosphere. During the winter, if a warm air front takes over a cold air mass, that would cause wintry weather!

A cold air front means that a cold air mass is pushing into a warm air mass. The warm air rises as the cool air moves in. Cold air fronts move much faster than warm air fronts.

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