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My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … CJ Armstrong!!!

CJ Armstrong (ceejay48, #665) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert Level Weather Merit Badge!


How does one describe the Earth’s atmosphere and weather? A very complicated, complex process that we can only begin to understand. Earth’s atmosphere is briefly described as “layers of gas,” which are mostly nitrogen, but contain some oxygen. The short term is “air.” Often, certain air masses remain stationary over certain areas for a time; for example, the air over a tropical climate would become hot and humid. But the masses can shift and could bring changes to an area that are not typical for that region. But the atmosphere is ever-changing and moving, causing a variety of weather conditions. Part of that process causes changes in the atmospheric pressure, and a high-pressure system would indicate good weather, while a low-pressure system means clouds and precipitation are probably in the works.

A barometer is an instrument used to measure atmospheric pressure and can indicate short-term changes in the weather.

Wind is basically movement of air and, briefly described, is formed with changes in the Earth temperatures, with different heating patterns between the equator and the poles, and is affected by the planet’s rotation. Wind is also difficult to describe.

Studying all the elements of how weather is formed is very interesting and very intricate. Some of the other areas I have studied that impact weather are air masses, process of evaporation, jet streams, and El Niño.


One could study clouds for a long time and one could watch them form and move on for hours. They are beautiful, interesting, and ever-changing. Basically, clouds are formed of condensed water/ice and are formed when rising air expands and cools to the point that molecules clump together faster than they are torn apart by thermal energy.

Common types of clouds are:

Cumulus, meaning “heap”

Stratus, meaning “layer”

Cirrus, meaning “curl of hair”

Nimbus, meaning “rain”

There are also classifications of high-level, mid-level, low-level, and vertically formed clouds.

I learned to classify clouds a long time ago as a child in school. It’s something that my husband and I still practice so that we have sense of what weather might be coming our way, and it’s something we taught our daughter when she was in school. Very intriguing practice!


Because of our need to know what weather might impact travel, gardening, building projects, outdoor activities, and numerous other situations or activities, my husband and I have been charting weather in our area for a long time.

We are mindful of what might be ahead before planning any activity or project that is going to be greatly affected by the weather.”

Leave a comment One Comment

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Ceejay, I share your interest in weather too! This is one of the badges I have on my list that would be fun to work on. Now that we have weather.com, I am obsessed with watching and learning about what the weather is going to be every day. I am especially interested in learning more about the big wind patterns that circle the globe like El Nino and La Nina, which effect the US weather. Congratulations on your work for this badge at all three levels!

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