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Learning: Weather and climate

Discover the science behind weather and climate

Get your climate change questions answered, take part in our national climate survey, and enjoy a range of weather and climate activities.

Climate and weather are two of the most talked about topics today. Politicians and scientists discuss climate change at length, and we are all too familiar with the devastating floods and hurricanes we see around the world.

OPAL scientists have been working with the Met Office to raise awareness and understanding of weather and climate. You'll discover more about climate science, the important issues we face, and what action you can take.


Your climate questions answered

What is climate change and how do we know it is happening? Can we believe long-term forecasts?

The Met Office has answered as many of your climate change questions as possible.

Take a look and read their responses.



The Met Office explains what we mean by climate


Climate survey – take part today

Cartoon sun with thermometerEveryone can join in the OPAL climate survey. Blow bubbles, look for plane contrails and help us learn about our climate.


Photo Competition winners

Find out who scooped the prize in our Weather Photo Competition and see the top ten photos selected by our judges.




Games and activities

Climate quizHow much do you know about weather and climate? Challenge yourself to our quiz.


Conduct your own weather experiments and measure air pressure, rainfall and more with your own weather station.

DIY Weather kit (PDF, 785KB)



Web Quests

Web Quest screengrabWeb quests are interactive online activities that are linked with Key Stages (KS) in the school curriculum.

Wake up to the weather – create your own weather picture (KS1)


Investigating climate change – explore the science of climate change (KS3)


Extreme temperatures – discover life aboard an Arctic ship (KS2)




Extreme weather – what happens when the weather turns ugly?

Flooding is mostly caused by a large amount of persistent rain or storm surges. Strong winds and low pressure create storm surges which result in large waves. The highest waves can sometimes break through or over coastal defences.

Drought occurs when there is a lack of rainfall over a long period of time. Droughts have a significant impact on agriculture and can harm the economy.

Hurricanes and typhoons are regionally-specific names for a strong tropical cyclone. A tropical cyclone is a low-pressure system over tropical or sub-tropical waters, with winds circulating either anti-clockwise (in the northern hemisphere) or clockwise (in the southern hemisphere).

Lightning is a large electrical spark caused by electrons moving from one place to another. Thunder is the sharp or rumbling sound that accompanies lightning. It is caused by the intense heating and expansion of the air along the path of the lightning.


Join the Weather Club
Obsessed by the weather? Become a member of the Weather Club community and you'll receive a quarterly weather magazine and enjoy a whole range of other benefits. Learn more about the Weather Club.

Join the Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS)
Whether you are interested in the science behind weather or the impact it can have on our lives, joining the RMetS is a great way to get more involved and meet like minded people.


Be healthy, whatever the weather
The Met Office provides specific health forecasts and guidance for dealing with weather-related conditions.


Policy and regulation
If you are interested in learning more about government policy on climate change then please visit:


Met Office