Atmospheric phenomenon

From Glossary of Meteorology

atmospheric phenomenon

As commonly used in weather observing practice, an observable occurrence of particular physical (as opposed to dynamic or synoptic) significance within the atmosphere.

Included are all hydrometeors (except clouds, which are usually considered separately), lithometeors, igneous meteors, and luminous meteors. From the viewpoint of weather observations, thunderstorms, tornadoes, waterspouts, and squalls are also included. The above usage excludes such "phenomena" as the local or large-scale characteristics of wind, pressure, and temperature; it also excludes clouds, although it includes many products of cloud development and composition. In aviation weather observation, atmospheric phenomena are divided into two categories: weather and obstructions to vision.