Air Planet People

At the National Center for Atmospheric Research, we don't forecast the weather. We get inside the weather, climate, and surrounding environment to understand it better.

All About Blizzards

A blizzard isn’t just any old snowstorm. It’s extreme winter weather. Watch and learn what makes these storms special.

An Invention to Turn Water Vapor Into Liquid Water

An Invention to Turn Water Vapor Into Liquid Water

Animation of the Biosphere

This animation shows where and when photosynthesis happens around the world as the seasons come and go.

Antarctic Sea Ice Extent Animation 2016-2018

Animation showing the monthly variation of sea ice extent in the Antarctic from 2016 through 2018.

Arctic Sea Ice Extent Animation 2016-2018

Animation showing the monthly variation of sea ice extent in the Arctic from 2016 through 2018.

Arctic September sea ice concentration, 1979-2020

This video shows the interannual variation of the September sea ice concentration from the start of the satellite record in 1979 to 2020.

Bottle Model Timelapse

This timelapse video is of a model of a sunny day and a stormy day using clear bottles with different contents. In Lesson 4 of the GLOBE Weather Curriculum, students have the option to create their own models, or they can use this supplemental video.

Boulder, Colorado Flood: How the City's Resilience Strategy Saved It

Learn how the 2013 intense week-long rainstorm could have been devistating for Boulder, Colorado, but thanks to city planning and floodplain management, the city fared relatively well.

Cloud Types Video

A short introduction to the different types of clouds, where they form in the atmosphere, and their shapes.

Convection Demonstration

This video shows convection happening as a model to partially explain the movement of air around the Earth.

Coral for Studying Past Climate Video

This video describes how climate scientists use "proxy data", such as the information stored in coral, to study climates of the past.

Creating Art in the Antarctic

 Artist April Waters describes her expedition to Antarctica and how she created paintings that depict water and ice. 

Drip Drop! Music Video - What’s up with our climate and water?

Chill out with Drop & the Drippettes as they groove on glaciers, hop in the ocean, get soaked in the flood zone, dehydrate in the desert, and party with a polar bear

Dropsonde Animation from NOAA

Short animated video showing instrument packages called dropsondes being released from an airplane.

Dropsondes from NASA Global Hawk video

Video of NASA's Global Hawk robotic aircraft releasing dropsondes.

Dropsondes: Workhorses in Hurricane Forecasting

Video showing dropsondes being released from aircraft and balloons to measure atmospheric properties at various altitudes.

Earth's Global Electric Circuit

Our electric atmosphere has a lot more to it than lightning and thunderstorms. Learn about Earth's Global Electric Circuit and its connection to Space Weather.

Flash Flood

A 2005 flash flood fills a West Virginia creek in seconds.

From Dog Walking To Weather And Climate

There is much more variation in the path that the dog takes as compared with the man, but they are both headed the same way. Similarly, weather can be highly variable and climate means long term trends.

Greenhouse Effect Video - Scott Denning

Professor Scott Denning of Colorado State University explains how greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere warm our planet.

Hazardous Heat Waves

Heat waves are abnormally hot weather that occurs over a few days to several weeks, and climate change is making them worse. Watch and find out why heat waves are a hazard and what you can do to stay safe when they happen.

How Hail is Made in Storms

How do hailstones form, and why are some much larger than others? Watch to learn how hail can form during a thunderstorm.

Ice Cores for Studying Past Climate Video

This video describes how climate scientists use "proxy data", such as the information stored in ice cores, to study climates of the past.

Is it Going to Snow?

Why is it so hard to predict when we’ll have a snow day? Find out what factors determine whether precipitation will fall as rain, sleet, or snow!

Lake-bottom Sediments for Studying Past Climate Video

This video describes how climate scientists use "proxy data", such as the information stored in layers of sediments from the bottoms of lakes, to study climates of the past.

Magnetic Field Lines Tangle as Sun Rotates

This short animation shows how the Sun's magnetic field becomes tangled over time as the Sun rotates. This tangled magnetic field gives rise to sunspots and sometimes to solar flares and coronal mass ejections (CMEs).

Make a Cold Front with a Density Tank

A slow-motion video of cold fluid and warm fluid interacting to demonstrate what happens at a cold front.

Making Clouds

Clouds are made of water or ice crystals, but how do they form? Learn more about cloud formation and when it’s likely to happen

Meet a Hurricane

Learn what makes a hurricane a hurricane, as well as how these storms can cause damage from storm surge, heavy rain, and fierce winds.

Meet a Tornado

Learn what makes a tornado a tornado, and how these powerful storms can cause property damage and are a threat to our safety.

Model Simulation of Past, Present and Future Climate Change

This animation shows warming of the Earth's surface according to the results of climate model (called the NCAR Community Climate System Model) from 1870-2100.

Modeling Carbon Dioxide with a Bathtub

This video describes how small changes in emissions can cause significant changes in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. 

No Two Hurricanes Are Alike

When there is a hurricane or tropical storm heading towards the coast, get to know all about it to learn what hazards it could cause.

Ocean on the Move: Thermohaline Circulation

A trip through the ocean on the path of thermohaline circulation, also known as the great ocean conveyor

Past Climate Changes and Uncertainty

This movie explains how climate scientists use "fuzzy" proxy records to learn about climates of the past.

Past Matching of Global Temperature and Carbon Dioxide Levels Video

This video explains how climate records from the past show that changes in temperature and changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide go hand-in-hand.

Rising Sea Levels

In the past century, as the climate has warmed, sea level rise has accelerated. Scientists predict it will only increase, and they're studying changes in the ocean and land to better understand how and why the water is rising.

Satellite Signals from Space: Smart Science for Understanding Weather and Climate

This video explains how COSMIC satellites monitor our atmosphere, collecting data that is used to improve weather forecasts, monitor the upper atmosphere, and understand our climate.

Simulation of Global Weather

View global weather simulated by a cloud-resolving weather prediction model.

Study Past Climate to Predict Future

This movie explains how scientists study past climates to help make better predictions about future climate change.

Supplemental Teacher video for GLOBE Weather Lesson 15

This video on the Coriolis effect is a supplemental teacher resource for Lesson 15, Part 2 of the GLOBE Weather Curriculum. Using a balloon and a marker, they create a simple model to observe the Coriolis effect.

Supplemental Teacher video for GLOBE Weather Lesson 5

This video on convection is a supplemental teacher resource for Lesson 5 of the GLOBE Weather Curriculum. In this lesson, students watch a demonstration of warming up and cooling down the air inside a Mylar balloon that has been partially deflated.

The Shape of Raindrops

Did you know that raindrops are not shaped like teardrops? They actually look like tiny hamburgers falling through the sky. Watch this video to learn why!

Three Years of the Sun

Time-lapse movie of three years of the Sun as observed by NASA's SDO satellite.

Visualization of Global Clouds

This visualization shows how simulated clouds and aerosols move through the atmosphere worldwide.

Visualization of Global Temperatures

This animation shows hourly air temperature from January 1 to February 24, 2014.

Warming a Mylar Balloon

This Warming a Mylar Balloon demonstration illustrates that warmed air molecules rise and cooled air molecules sink.

Warming Water, Rising Seas

You may know that melting glaciers and ice sheets is causing sea levels to rise. Did you also know that the ocean absorbs heat, causing it to expand? Learn more about this process and how it’s impacting coastlines around the planet.

Weather Balloon Launch Video

In this video from the U.S. National Weather Service, a scientist explains how weather balloons are used to collect data that improves weather predictions.

Weather Timelapse: Lyons, Colorado, April 6, 2017

This sunny day video was captured on Eagle Ridge above Lyons, Colorado near the Front Range of the Rockies by David Niels as part of his research for the Colorado Climate Center.

Weather Timelapse: Lyons, Colorado, July 4, 2017

This timelapse video was captured July 4, 2017 on Eagle Ridge above Lyons, Colorado near the Front Range of the Rockies by David Niels as part of his research for the Colorado Climate Center.

Weather Timelapse: Lyons, Colorado, May 8, 2017

Watch this timelapse video to see how the weather over a day in Lyons, Colorado changes when a front moves through the area.

What Does Storm Surge Look Like?

NCAR researchers visualizing hurricane impacts created this animation to show how quickly nine feet of storm surge can flood a coastal city.

What Makes a Bomb Cyclone

A bomb cyclone can cause cold and stormy winter weather. Watch this video to discover what makes a bomb cyclone.

What Makes Cities So Hot?

A city can be several degrees warmer than the surrounding area. Learn how this phenomenon, called the urban heat island effect, occurs and find out what can be done to keep cities cool.

What Makes Snowflakes Take Shape?

Do you know that snowflakes are different shapes? Find out why some snowflakes have simple shapes and others are more intricate.

What's a 100-Year Flood?

Do you know what the terms 100-year, 500-year, and 1000-year flood actually mean? Watch the video and see if you're right.

What's the Polar Vortex?

Learn about the polar vortex and the polar jet stream and how we can get particularly chilly winter weather in the mid-latitudes when the air circulating around the North Pole wobbles to the south.

What's With Weather Fronts?

Discover how a weather front can cause clouds and storms with rain or snow.

Why is ice slippery?

When it’s freezing outside, it can be icy too. People walking down the street find their feet sliding in directions that they didn’t intend. A few unlucky ones slip and fall. But have you ever wondered why we slip?

Why is Ozone So Dangerous?

Learn more about ozone pollution and how you can help reduce it.

Why the Wind Blows

Learn how air pressure in the atmosphere causes wind.

Winter Storm Quid

Weather Channel coverage of a winter storm that traveled across much of the U.S. in February 2017.