Difference Between Partly Cloudy and Mostly Sunny

Partly Cloudy vs Mostly Sunny
 

Is there a difference between partly cloudy and mostly sunny? If you have seen a weatherman predict the weather of a particular area on TV, you must have seen him describe it as partly cloudy or mostly sunny. This makes you wonder if he is saying or talking about the same weather in two different ways as partly cloudy also implies mostly sunny conditions, isn’t it? It is often the difference between being a pessimist and an optimist, as one person calls a glass half filled with water as half empty while another person who is an optimist treats the glass as half-full. The weather prediction makes use of terms like partly sunny, partly cloudy, mostly sunny, and mostly cloudy that makes people more confused. This article attempts to clear this confusion. Whether a weatherman makes use of the phrase partly cloudy or mostly sunny, there is no need for any confusion as there is a definition of all such terms as far as National Weather Services is concerned.

What does Partly Cloudy mean?

Partly cloudy is equal to partly sunny. Some interpret partly cloudy, in a forecast, as less than half of the day to be cloudy. For a current condition, this means that less than half of the sky is covered by clouds. How do you determine whether the sky is half cloudy or full cloudy of partly cloudy? This can be easily understood once you refer to the National Weather Service glossary. Partly cloudy is when the cloud condition of the sky is 3/8 – 5/8 opaque clouds. Now, you must be wondering what an opaque cloud is? Opaque clouds are clouds through which you cannot see. That means the sun, the moon and the stars are hidden by these clouds. As you can see, it was mentioned before that partly cloudy is equal to partly sunny. Partly sunny is also the same cloud condition. Then why are there two names? In a day time forecast, you can see the sun. So, a weatherman uses the word partly sunny. However, in a nighttime forecast you cannot see the sun. In such an instance the word partly cloudy is used.

Difference Between Partly Cloudy and Mostly Sunny

What does Mostly Sunny mean?

Mostly sunny equals to mostly clear. Some interpret mostly sunny, in a forecast, as most of the day to be sunny. For a current condition, this means that most of the sky is clear of clouds. How do you determine whether the sky is mostly sunny, mostly clear or partly sunny? This can be easily understood once you refer to the National Weather Service. Mostly sunny is when the cloud condition of the sky is 1/8 – 2/8 opaque clouds. As explained earlier, opaque clouds are clouds through which you cannot see. That means the sun, the moon and the stars are hidden by these clouds. As you can see it was mentioned before that mostly sunny is equal to mostly clear. Mostly clear sunny is also the same cloud condition. Then why are there two names? In a day time forecast, you can see the sun. So, a weatherman uses the word mostly sunny. However, in a nighttime forecast you cannot see the sun. In such an instance the word mostly clear is used.

What is the difference between Partly Cloudy and Mostly Sunny?

• Partly cloudy is when the cloud condition of the sky is 3/8 – 5/8 opaque clouds.

• Mostly sunny is when the cloud condition of the sky is 1/8 – 2/8 opaque clouds.

• So, partly cloudy is partly sunny while mostly sunny is mostly clear.

• If we speak in a continuum, to speak of weather conditions from least cloud cover to most cloudy conditions, the terminology used by weathermen is sunny, mostly sunny, partly cloudy, partly sunny, mostly cloudy, and finally cloudy.

• If you hear sunny weather, you can expect clear skies with warm and sunny conditions with less than 10% of cloud cover in patches.

• On the other hand, cloudy weather conditions refer to dark and dull weather conditions with sky covered with cloud all over and sun peeping out at some places from behind the cloud cover.

 

Images Courtesy: Clouds via Pixabay