Weather Information

The following are terms that might help you to understand an American weather forecast:

Thermometer: Device for measuring temperature. U.S. temperatures are displayed in Fahrenheit.

Dew Point: At this temperature, water droplets are able to form from humidity (water in the air). It changes depending on how much humidity is in the air. It indicates how “moist” the air will feel.

Precipitation: Refers to any type of liquid coming out of the sky (i.e. rain, snow).

Partly Cloudy: A common weather forecast. It means that there will be some clouds in the sky during at least part of the day.

Watches and Warnings: A watch indicates that the conditions are right for a weather phenomenon like a tornado or a storm to occur. A warning means that the phenomenon is occurring.

Cold or Hot Spell: This refers to a short period of time where the temperature is unusually hot or cold.

Connecticut Weather

The temperatures in Middletown vary depending on the season. The northeastern United States has four seasons with large differences in weather conditions.
  • Summer (June, July, August)

    Temperatures vary from 60° to 90° F (15° to 32° C). The weather is usually humid and hot during these months.

    Summer Vocabulary

    Humidity: This refers to how much water is in the air and it is usually described in a percentage. The higher the percentage, the more uncomfortable it will be outside. 

    Heat Index: 
    This refers to a combination of the temperature and the humidity. It is sometimes referred to as the “real feel.” When it is hot and humid, the heat index is higher than the temperature. In the summer of 2019, the heat index reached 102°F (39°C) in Middletown.

    UV Index:
    This is a measure of the amount to ultra-violet (UV) light in the air. The higher the number, the more likely you are to get a sunburn. 

    Hurricane: 
    This is an intense storm that usually includes strong winds (up to 160 km per hour) and generally occurs along the coast. Even though Middletown in not on the coast, it is close enough that hurricanes will affect the weather here. Hurricanes generally occur between June and November.

  • Autumn/Fall (September, October, November)

    Temperatures vary from 40° to 75° F (4° to 24° C). During these months it starts getting colder and rains a lot.

    Autumn/Fall Vocabulary

    Sleet/Freezing Rain: This is frozen rain. Commonly, it is small droplets, wet and cold. It can accumulate on trees, which results in heavy branches that may break. Driving can become difficult because the roads will be covered in ice.

    Hail: This is larger pieces of frozen rain. Hail can be anywhere from 5 mm to 6 cm in radius. The larger the piece, the more damage it can cause. When hail is predicted, try to stay indoors.

    Tornado: Tornadoes happen when cold air meets hot air and creates an imbalance in the atmosphere. The result is a fast moving wind in a circular motion. Tornadoes can be very destructive, but also very limited in their range. They rarely happen in the Northeast, but if they do, go to the lowest floor of you building and stay away from windows. 

    Wind gusts: A gust refers to short burst of fast wind.

    Rain Showers: A rain shower is a gentle rain that comes and goes throughout the day.

  • Winter (December, January, February)

    Temperatures vary from 20° to 40°F (-6° to 4°C). This is the coldest part of the year and usually snows.

    Winter Vocabulary

    Thunderstorm: Thunder refers to the sound you will hear during a storm that usually happens with lightning. Thunderstorms are usually strong and severe. You should stay inside during a thunderstorm.

    Nor’easter: A nor’easter is a strong thunderstorm that can be rain or snow. They generally occur in the winter, but can happen in the fall too. Nor’easters are severe storms, so do not plan to travel during a nor’easter.

    Snow: Snow is fluffy, frozen water coming out of the sky. In addition to being cold, snow can result in not being able to see and makes the ground being difficult to walk on.

    Slush: Slush is a snow that is partially melted. It sticks to the ground and is difficult to drive or walk through.

    Powder: This is a dry type of snow. It is small pieces of very cold snow that do not stick together and can blow into the air. Skiers like this type of snow because it is easy to glide through.

    Black Ice: This is a thin layer of ice that is very slippery and sometimes difficult to see. Walking or driving on black ice is very dangerous because it is very easy to slip on it.

    Blizzard: A blizzard is a severe storm of snow. Blizzards can last for days and can result in 6 inches to 4 or more feet of snow. (15 cm to 1.5 meters). Do not travel during a blizzard.

    Hypothermia: This is when the body temperature of a person starts to reduce because he/she has been in the cold too long.

    Snow Flurries: Flurries refer to very light snow.

    Snowed in: This is something that may happen during a severe winter storm. It means you cannot leave your house and you may or may not have electricity.

     

  • Spring (March, April, May)

    Temperatures vary from 30° to 70°F (4 - 24°C). It may snow during this season, but it is generally very pleasant.

    Sleet/Freezing Rain: This is frozen rain. Commonly it is small, wet, and cold. It can accumulate on trees which results in heavy branches that may break. Driving can become difficult because the roads will be covered in ice.

    Hail: This larger pieces of frozen rain. Hail can be anywhere from 5 mm to 6 cm in radius. The larger the piece, the more damage it can cause. When hail is predicted, try to stay indoors.

    Tornado: Tornadoes happen when cold air meets hot air and creates an imbalance in the atmosphere. The result is a fast moving wind in a circular motion. Tornadoes can be very destructive, but also very limited in their range. They rarely happen in the Northeast, but if they do, go to the lowest floor of you building and stay away from windows.

    Wind gusts: A gust refers to short burst of fast wind.

    Rain Showers: A rain shower is a gentle rain that comes and goes throughout the day.