Weather Terms and the Clothing that Defines Them

Weather Terms and the Clothing that Defines Them

Have you ever been swullocking, walked through a blenky, or perhaps been caught in a derecho and realized that you hadn't dressed appropriately for the weather? Well, if you have, you're certainly not alone. We've been there, and we decided that the first step in determining exactly how to dress for different weather conditions is gaining an understanding of these niche weather terms and patterns. That's why we've created this nifty Lands' End Weather Dictionary, complete with suggestions on how to dress the next time you catch yourself basking in a crepuscular ray, or you hear that a polar vortex is coming in.

You can be prepared for any weather pattern with the right outwear and shoes, no matter how niche the term is.

Stay Cozy in a Blenky

A blenky is a term that refers to very light snow. This word's root dates back to the 18th century, when it was used to describe ash and cinders. The good news is that jacket technology has really evolved since then, so you can enjoy a blenky in comfort. Since this is just light snow, opt for a lightweight waterproof down jacket for just the right amount of warmth and to keep you dry in case the blenky gives way to rainfall or sleet instead of heavier snow.

Catch the Crepuscular Ray

While this might not be a super widely known term, you've definitely experienced and likely very much appreciated a few of these. A crepuscular ray describes that twilight ray of sunlight shining through the breaks in high clouds. This is what will illuminate dust particles in the air if you're inside as one of these pretty sunbeams comes through. If you're enjoying one of these light shows from the comfort of your home, enjoy the view in your comfiest women's loungewear, like a fleece cowl neck pullover sweater, as you unwind for the evening.

Don't Get Drenched in a Derecho

Derechos are widespread, long-lived wind storms that generally accompany bands of quickly moving rain showers and thunderstorms. They're also sometimes referred to as bow echoes, squall lines, or quasi-linear convective systems. A derecho is a serious wind storm, so you'll want to have some serious windproof gear on if you happen to be outside during one of these.

Opt for a waterproof women's winter coat like a squall jacket with a hood, a windproof shell, and added coverage that falls to mid-thigh, The derecho won't know what hit it.

No Need to be Frazzled by Some Frazils

Frazils are beautiful ice crystals that form in turbulent water. You'll find frazel in swiftly moving streams and rough seas. If you happen to be searching for frazil, you'll want as much waterproof coverage as possible. Make sure you have waterproof pants on, plus cozy lined and water-resistant women's duck boots that cover your ankles.

Don't Get Caught in a Haboob

Moving away from streams and oceans, a haboob is actually a giant dust storm, otherwise known as a sandstorm. Rather than suggest any outwear or boots here, we're going to recommend just taking cover if you happen to find yourself caught in one of these.

Appreciate the Petrichor

Do you know when you've had a period of warm, dry weather, and then it finally rains, and there's that earthy smell in the air? There's something so pleasant about that scent, and it has a name: petrichor. Apparently, this is actually the scent of oil released by the Earth right before the rain begins.

To avoid getting your pant legs wet, opt for ankle pants, capris, or chinos if you want to get outside and enjoy the petrichor after a rainstorm. Don't forget a light women's rain jacket just in case the weather takes another turn.

Bundle Up for a Polar Vortex

A polar vortex is a massive whirlpool of cold air that hovers over the Earth's poles (both north and south). During the winter, the boundary of the polar vortex expands, causing unsuspecting commuters to be caught in its path. You'll want to be covered from your head to toe during a polar vortex. Wear a warm hat, gloves or mittens, a scarf, a long down coat, wool socks, and winter snow boots if you have to leave the house during a polar vortex.

Don't Let Swullocking Get You Down

So, we mentioned the term in the intro, but what's the actual meaning of swullocking? Swullocking is actually an older term used primarily in the southeast, and it refers to humidity that's heavy enough to make your hair stand on end. Swullocking means sultry and humid, and now you can use this term as a summertime thunderstorm rolls in (or use it to win your next game of Scrabble). If you find yourself out and about in a swullocking situation, be sure to throw your hair in a messy bun and bring along a waterproof, lightweight packable jacket for when the sky decides to open up.

Now that you know the meaning of these niche weather terms, you'll be prepared for them the next time they occur. With the right accessories and outwear, you'll be covered regardless of the weather (well, aside from the haboob - you might just want to avoid that one!).


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