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4
Teacher Edition
1 – 4 + days
Weatherman’s Backpack
[Key Science Knowledge Module]
Activity Overview
This module is the most important learning
module in terms of the physical science aspects
associated with weather and weather forecasting.
Teachers have a great deal of flexibility in terms
of the material covered in this learning module
necessary to meet the objectives of the entire set
of decision making and weather learning
modules. The teacher can use their own lessons
and textbook for meteorological material.
Or, the teacher can use the suggested material in
this learning module. The material is designed
as a jigsaw approach to learning. It will take
four or more days to complete the jigsaw
approach.
Another option is to skip the
Weatherman’s Backpack material and have the
students complete only the Becoming an Expert
material.
A third option is to skip the
“Becoming an Expert Section” and go straight to
students filling out the “Weatherman’s
Backpack.”
This will shorten the time
requirements by approximately two days.
Finally, the teacher can use their own
meteorological lessons.
Experiments will add to the overall time
requirement.
The teacher should do the
activities appropriate for their class.
2. Demonstrates safe practices during field and
lab investigations.
3. Implements investigation of hot/cold air
fronts using water model.
4. Makes observations on the action of the
hot/cold fronts.
5. Communicates conclusions.
6. Represents the natural world using models.
7. Collects, analyzes, and records information
using tools.
8. Identifies the role of atmospheric movement
in weather change.
9. Understands and is able to read a weather
map.
10. Identifies and defines the symbols present
on a weather map.
11. Recognizes local weather patterns.
12. Lists other factors that affect the forecast for
rain.
Teaching Summary
Step 1
Journal/Bell Work- If Appropriate
Step 2
Jigsaw Approach to Weatherman’s Backpack
There is flexibility in this step as discussed in
the activity overview and the three replacement
steps 3-5.
Student Learning Objectives
(Depends on material and activities covered
in completing the learning module)
Step 3 - Replaces Step Two
Becoming an Expert - only
The student
1. Works cooperatively in groups.
Step 4 - Replaces Step Two
Weatherman’s Backpack – only
2
Weather Folklore
Step 5 - Replaces Step Two
Teacher’s own material
Smoke rising straight into the air means fair
weather and smoke hanging low means rain is
on the way.
Step 6 - Optional
Science Experiments
Step 7 – Optional
Weather Map Drawing and Inference Activities
Step 8
Homework / Assessment
Materials Needed
For The Teacher
Weather map (transparencies, handout)
Becoming an Expert Handouts
Weatherman’s Backpack handouts
Possible scientific basis, taken from Stalking the
Wild The Magazine of Outdoor Discovery “How
to
Forecast
Weather
by
Nature.”
http://www.stalkingthewild.com/weather.htm
“With the high pressure approaching and the air
becoming denser, smoke will rise whereas with
low pressure it can’t rise and tends to lay low.”
Music Selection
Clarence Clearwater Revival / John Fogerty Who’ll Stop the Rain
Each student group will need computer access to
Jetstream Online School or a print out of the
material. A copy of the material is provided in a
separate file.
Teaching Suggestions
http://www.srh.weather.gov/srh/jetstream
Step 1 - Journal / Bell Work
Divide the students into “expert groups.”
Place a weather map transparency on an
overhead project. Note to the students that
weather is influenced by many factors. Have the
students make a list of the factors that influence
or make up weather. Use the weather map as a
starting point. Use a weather map found in the
local paper or use the map provided in this on
the next page.
For the Student
Weather map handout - optional
Becoming an Expert Handouts
Weatherman’s Backpack handouts
National Standards
Module provides integrated approach to address
science, math, reading and geography national
standards.
See Teacher Guide for specific
standards addressed for grades 5-8.
Texas Essential
(TEKS)
Knowledge
and
Skills
Module provides integrated approach to address
science, math, reading, and geography standards.
See Teacher Guide for specific standards
addressed for grades sixth, seventh, and eighth.
Teacher Activity Options (select one)
1. Directly field student responses and put
them on the board.
2. Have students brainstorm in groups and
identify at least 3 factors that might affect
the forecast for rain.
3. Have a student become the teacher and
allow them to field answers and write them
on the board (this option may take additional
time).
4. Have students write their responses in their
journals.
3
Weather Forecast Map for North America
NOAA April 05, 2005
4
Step 2 – Jigsaw Approach to Weatherman’s
Backpack
For teachers not familiar with the jigsaw
approach to learning, a brief overview of this
method is provided in Appendix A of this
Learning Module.
In the Weatherman’s Backpack there are nine
interrelated topics:
air masses,
fronts, precipitation,
air pressure,
heat transfer,
earth-atmosphere energy,
cloud formulation,
wind,
and jetstreams.
Based upon instructional needs and curriculum
of your class, select the appropriate weather
topics. Air pressure, fronts, and precipitation are
necessary for Learning Module 5.
Teacher Activity – Jigsaw Approach
The jigsaw approach divides the class into
groups. Each group goes through a self-directed
learning activity to become “experts” on a
particular topic. Groups are then reassembled
with one student moving from each group to
another group.
Each student teaches the
material they had learned in their expert group to
the members of the new group.
1. Divide the students into “expert groups.”
Groups should have 3-6 students. One
expert group is necessary for each weather
topic to be covered. Each student in an
expert group is given the appropriate
“Becoming an expert on ___” handout.
Each expert group also must have access to
JETSTREAM An Online Weather School
either online (website given in materials
needed section) or printed material
(provided in a separate file) associated with
their expert group topic.
2. Each expert group completes their
worksheet on Becoming an Expert on ___.
3. New student groups are formed with each
student being an expert on a particular topic.
The experts teach their particular topic to the
other students in the reformed group using
the Becoming an Expert on ___ worksheet.
In teaching the topic, the students answer the
questions associated with each topic in the
Weatherman’s Backpack.
4. Redo teaching activity 3 until all students
have completed their Weatherman’s
Backpack.
Step 3 - Replaces Step 2 – Becoming an
Expert – only
Using this option, the teacher skips the
“Weatherman’s Backpack” material and
students only complete the “Becoming an
Expert” material.
In the expert material there are nine interrelated
topics: air masses, fronts, precipitation, air
pressure, heat transfer, earth-atmosphere energy,
cloud formulation, wind, and jetstreams. Based
upon instructional needs and curriculum of your
class, select the appropriate weather topics. Air
pressure, fronts, and precipitation are necessary
for Learning Module 5.
Teacher Activity
Questions contained in the Becoming an Expert
are completed using either direct instruction,
individually by each student, or in student
groups. Each student is given a copy of the
appropriate topics in the “Becoming an
Expert.” Depending on the method used,
material from JETSTREAM An Online
Weather School (either online or printed
material in separate file – see necessary material
section) is given to the individual student or a
group of students. If groups are used, the
material can be shared between groups. This
sharing reduces the amount of material that must
be handed out to students.
5
Step 4 - Replaces Step 2 - Weatherman’s
Backpack – only
Using this option, the teacher skips the
“Becoming an Expert on ___” material and
proceeds directly to the Weatherman’s
Backpack.
In the Weatherman’s Backpack there are nine
interrelated topics: air masses, fronts,
precipitation, air pressure, heat transfer, earthatmosphere energy, cloud formulation, wind,
and jetstreams. Based upon instructional needs
and curriculum of your class, select the
appropriate weather topics. Air pressure, fronts,
and precipitation are necessary for Learning
Module 5.
Teacher Activity
Questions contained in the Weatherman’s
Backpack are completed using either direct
instruction, individually by each student, or in
student groups. Each student is given a copy of
the appropriate topics in the “Weatherman’s
Backpack.” Depending on the method used,
material from JETSTREAM An Online
Weather School (either online or printed
material in separate file – see necessary material
section) is given to the individual student or a
group of students. If groups are used, the
material can be shared between groups. This
sharing reduces the amount of material that must
be handed out to students.
As with teaching the science topics, a great deal
of flexibility is available with the science
experiments. Teachers have a multitude of
sources for relevant experiments including
textbooks and online sources. Three suggested
experiments are provided. Teachers can choose
to use no experiments, one or more of these
experiments or experiments from other sources.
Suggested Experiments in Appendix B
Probability Activity - Understanding the
Difficulty in Forecasting the Future is designed
to show students the difficulty associated with
weather forecasting as the forecasts are for
periods farther into the future.
Hot / Cold Water Experiment is designed to
illustrate how different temperature air masses
interact with each other.
Temperature Around Town - Impact of Concrete
and Asphalt is designed to help students realize
that there are local differences in weather
(micro-climates) and explore what might cause
these variations.
Step 7 – Weather Map Drawing and
Inference Activities – Optional
Two weather map related activities are provided.
These activities are to be completed after
completion of the Weatherman’s Backpack. The
two activities are: “Drawing a Weather Map”
and “Making Inferences from a Weather Map.”
Step 5 –Teacher’s Own Material – Optional
The teacher can chose to use their textbook or
own science concept materials.
The first activity provides the student with a
blank map and a series of statements. Using
these statements, the student is to draw a
weather map to represent that day’s forecast.
Step 6 - Science Experiments - Optional
Science experiments are not necessary to
complete this learning module and the
associated decision making modules. Science
experiments do, however, increase student
comprehension of the science topics. Additional
time is necessary to complete the learning
module as experiments are added.
In the second activity, the student is given a
completed weather map and answers questions
based on the map.
6
Step 8 - Assessment / Homework
Assessment Options
1. Weatherman’s Backpack.
2. Journal reflection: What information did you
learn today?
2. Have students conduct research on one or
more weather folklores.
3. Have students visit the national weather
service web site and the weather channel
web site. Obtain forecasts for cities other
than your own city. Do the forecasts for a
given city vary between the two websites?
3. Experiments and Write-ups
Struggling Learners
4. Weather map activities.
1. If using the jigsaw approach become experts
in pairs instead of individuals.
Pair
struggling learners with a peer tutor.
Homework Options
1. Continue Weather Journal.
2. Suggested Experiment Temperature Around
Town - Options 1, 3, and / or 4.
3. Weather map activities.
Enrichment Options
1. Have students visit / interview a local
meteorologist.
2. If completing the weatherman’s backpack
individually, provide a set of reading that
highlights the answers.
3. In completing the weatherman’s backpack,
use the multiple-choice option instead of the
open ended set of questions.
4. Use peer tutors to help students collect the
data
for
the
experiment
options.
7
Learning Module Related Material
Becoming an Expert on Weather Topics
Pages 8 - 21
Questions associated with “Becoming an Expert” on the nine interrelated topics:
air masses,
fronts,
precipitation,
air pressure,
heat transfer,
earth-atmosphere energy,
cloud formulation,
wind, and
jetstreams
are provided on the following pages. Questions are based on JETSTREAM An Online Weather
School
http://www.srh.weather.gov/srh/jetstream. The JETSTREAM material is also provided in
separate files.
Weatherman’s Backpack
Pages 22 - 31
The Weatherman’s Backpack contains pages for the same topics as Becoming an Expert.
Probability Activity - Understanding the Difficulty
in Forecasting the Future
Pages 32 - 33
Hot/Cold Water Experiment
Pages 34 -35
Temperature around Town - Impact of Concrete
and Asphalt Experiment
Page 36
Drawing a Weather Map
Page 37
Making Inferences from a Weather Map
Page 38
Appendix A - Weatherman’s Backpack – Jigsaw Approach
Page 39
8
Becoming an Expert on Air Masses
To become an expert on air masses, read the
information on air masses and complete the
questions. Your textbook is also a good source
of information on weather.
Questions are based on the material presented in
JETSTREAM An Online Weather School
http://www.srh.weather.gov/srh/jetstream/synopt
ic/airmass.htm
1. What is an air mass?
Large body of air with uniform temperature
and humidity
4. What are the four principal air mass
classifications that influence the U.S.
according to their source region?
Polar latitudes
Continental
Maritime
Tropical latitudes
5. Do air masses always maintain their original
characteristics? Explain why or why not.
No, passing over an area, the air mass may
pick up the characteristics of the area. For
example, passing over an ocean an air mass
may pick up moisture and warmth
2. What is a source region?
The area from which an air mass originates
3. Why is the U.S. not a favorable source
region?
Frequent passages of weather disturbances
that disrupt air masses that do not allow the
air mass to stagnate and take on the
properties of the underlying region
6. A cold dry artic (polar) air mass may pick
up what characteristics as it passes over an
ocean?
Warmth and moisture
7. How long can air masses control the weather
over a given area?
Days to months
8. Where do most changes in weather occur?
Along the periphery or boundaries called
fronts
9
Becoming a Expert on Fronts
To become an expert on fronts, read the
information on fronts and complete the
questions. Your textbook is also a good source
of information on weather.
7. What is an occluded front?
-Cold front is undercutting the warm front
Questions are based on the material presented in
JETSTREAM An Online Weather School
http://www.srh.weather.gov/srh/jetstream/synopt
ic/airmass.htm
1. What is a front?
8. Draw the symbols and color for each type of
front, cold, warm, and stationary.
Cold – blue
- warm – red
Boundary between two air masses
Stationary – red and blue
2. How are fronts classified?
Occluded – purple
By which type of air is replacing e.g. with a
cold front, cold air is replacing warm air
9. How are weather patterns different between
warm and cold fronts?
3. What are the four types of fronts?
Cold, warm, stationary, and occluded fronts
4. What is a cold front?
A cold air mass replacing warm air
5. What is a warm front?
Warm air replacing cold air
6. What is a stationary front?
A front that is not moving
Warm – widespread layered stratiform
clouds with precipitation along and to the
north of the front
Cold – narrow band of showers and
thunderstorms
10. Which type of front usually moves faster?
Cold
11. State three ways fronts are detectable at the
earth’s surface.
Winds come together at air mass boundaries
(fronts)
Large temperature differences
Pressure differences
10
Becoming a Expert on Precipitation
To become an expert on precipitation, read the
information on precipitation and complete the
questions. Your textbook is also a good source
of information on weather.
Questions are based on the material presented in
JETSTREAM An Online Weather School
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/srh/jetstream/synoptic/
precip.htm.
4. How is the moisture transported from the
source to inland areas?
Winds around high and low pressure
systems
5. What is the most effective way for clouds to
form? Provide two ways clouds form.
Know / review the following before reading
JETSTREAM.
Drought - a long period of very low rainfall that
can have affects on growing or living
conditions.
1. List at least three common forms of
precipitation.
Rain, snow, sleet, hail, and freezing rain
2. What four components are necessary for
precipitation to form? (Hint: see the next
four questions to help you with your
answer.)
Source of moisture
Winds to transport the moisture
Clouds must form
Process to allow water droplets to grow
large enough to fall
3. What are the three primary sources of
moisture for precipitation in the U.S.?
Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and the Gulf of
Mexico
Lifting the air - by going over mountains or
forcing the air to rise near fronts and low
pressure areas
6. How do the water drops in a cloud grow
large enough to fall as precipitation?
Collisions between water droplets and they
stick together to form larger drops which
eventual will fall as rain
7. What often determines the type of
precipitation (rain, snow, sleet) during the
winter?
Vertical distribution of temperature
8. What is a temperature inversion?
Air temperature increases with height before
decreasing again
11
9. Draw the vertical distribution
temperatures for snow.
of
air
11. Draw the vertical distribution
temperatures for freezing rain.
of
air
12. What causes the freezing rain to form
instead of sleet?
10. Draw the vertical distribution
temperatures for sleet.
of
air
Warm layer is deep enough making the cold
layer at the surface is too shallow for the
water to freeze into sleet
13. What is drought?
Long periods of unusually low precipitation
12
Becoming an Expert on Air Pressure
To become an expert on air pressure, read the
information on air pressure and complete the
questions. Your textbook is also a good source
of information on weather.
Questions are based on the material presented in
JETSTREAM, An Online Weather School
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/srh/jetstream/atmos/pre
ssure.htm
an
additional
source
is
http://kids.earth.nasa.gov/archive/air_pressure/ .
Know / review the following before reading
JETSTREAM
Because air has mass it has the property of
pressure. Air pressure is result of weight of air
pushing down on an area or surface. In
meteorology, two terms are commonly used to
indicate the air pressure in a system, high or low.
The symbol for a high-pressure system is a
capital “H.” The symbol for a low- pressure
system is a capital “L.” Rising or high air
pressure generally brings fair weather, whereas
decreasing or low air pressure generally brings
bad (rain and wind) weather. The differences in
pressure cause winds. Winds move from highpressure to low-pressure areas. Differences in
pressure on the earth are caused by unequal
heating of the earth’s surface.
1. What makes up the atmosphere or the air we
breath?
how
Air pressure is simply the weight of air
surrounding an object.
4. How is air pressure associated with air
molecules?
Air pressure depends on the number of air
molecules in a given space and how fast the
molecules are moving.
5. Why does the air pressure decrease the
higher a person goes up into the
atmosphere?
As elevation increases, less air molecules
are available and the weight of air therefore
is less, meaning a decrease in air pressure.
6. What is a millibar?
The amount of force it takes to move an
object weighing one gram, one centimeter,
in one second.
7. If you were on a mountain, would the
weight of the air above you (air pressure) be
greater than or less than it is now?
Atoms and molecules
2. Describe
3. What is air pressure?
we
feel
air
pressure.
As the number of molecules of air around
you decreases, the air pressure decreases.
The atoms and molecules that make up air exert
weight on us. We feel this weight as
pressure.
13
8. Do you think winds are related to air
pressure? How?
Some winds are caused by differences in air
pressure, which are the results of unequal
heating of Earth’s surface. Temperature
differences can also cause wind.
9. What is the symbol for a high-pressure
system?
H
10. What is the symbol for a low-pressure
system?
L
11. What type of weather is usually associated
with rising or high-pressure areas?
Fair weather
12. What type of weather is usually associated
with decreasing or low-pressure areas?
Poor weather rain
14
Becoming an Expert on Heat Transfer
To become an expert on heat transfer, read the
information on heat transfer and complete the
questions. Your textbook is also a good source
of information on weather.
Questions are based on the material presented in
JETSTREAM An Online Weather School
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/srh/jetstream/atmos/he
at.htm.
5. What is radiation?
Radiation is the transfer of heat energy by
electromagnetic radiation.
6.
What happens to most of the solar energy
that reaches the earth’s surface?
Know / review the following before reading
JetStream.
Heat - a form of energy associated with motions
of atoms or molecules that can be transmitted
through solid, fluid, or empty space, by
convection, conduction, or radiation, the degree
of hotness.
Solar energy that reaches the earth is radiated
back into the atmosphere to become heat energy.
1. Where does most of energy that keeps Earth
warm come?
Sun
2. What is heat?
The energy transferred from a hotter object
to a cooler one is referred to as heat.
3. What are the three ways heats is transferred,
into the atmosphere?
It is radiated back into the atmosphere to
become heat energy.
7. Give an example of conduction heating.
- touching a hot object
8. What is conduction?
Conduction is the transfer of heat energy
from one substance to another or within a
substance.
9. Give an example of convection heating.
Water boiling on a stove
10. What is convection?
Convection is the transfer of heat energy by
the movement of a fluid.
Radiation, conduction, and convection
4. Give an example of radiation heating.
Fireplace
15
11. Describe the process in which a warm
bubble of air is formed by heat energy.
The sun’s radiation strikes the ground,
warming the rocks, whose temperature rises
due to conduction. Heat energy is then
released into the atmosphere forming the
bubble of air that is warmer than its
surrounding air.
12. What type of heat causes most of the heating
of the layer of the atmosphere closest to the
earth’s surface (troposphere)?
Convection
13. How can heat transfer in the atmosphere
cause wind?
The hot air that is rising is replaced by
surrounding cooler air causing wind.
16
Becoming an Expert on Earth-Atmosphere Energy
To become an expert on Earth-Atmosphere
Energy Balance Expert, read the information on
earth-atmosphere energy balance and complete
the questions. Your textbook is also a good
source of information on weather.
Questions are based on the material presented in
JETSTREAM An Online Weather School
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/jetstream/atmos/energy
.htm.
1. The earth-atmosphere energy balance refers
to the balance of energy coming from what
and leaving from what?
Incoming from the Sun and outgoing from
the earth
2. Energy from the sun is emitted in what two
main forms?
Short wave light and ultraviolet energy
3. What three things happen to the energy from
the sun when it reaches the earth?
6. What effect causes the earth to have a higher
average temperature than the moon?
Greenhouse effect
7. What is the greenhouse effect?
Heating effect caused by having an
atmosphere
8. Why is the average surface temperature of
the moon only 0○ F, while the average
surface temperature on the earth is 59○ F?
Because the earth has an atmosphere and the
moon does not
9. Explain why, everything else being equal,
the temperature on a cloudy night will be
higher than the temperature on a clear night.
Draw a picture of what happens on a cloudy
and a clear night.
Reflected back to space by clouds, absorbed
by the atmosphere, and absorbed by the
earth’s surface
4. Name one way one can see energy radiating
(leaving) the earth’s surface.
Rising heat off a road, creating shimmers on
hot sunny days
5. How does the earth maintain a stable
average temperature and climate?
Energy lost is balanced by energy gained
from the sun
Heat energy from the earth is trapped by the
clouds
17
Becoming an Expert on Cloud Formulation
To become an expert on clouds, read the
information on clouds and complete the
questions. Your textbook is also a good source
of information on weather.
Questions are based on the material presented in
JETSTREAM An Online Weather School
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/srh/jetstream/synoptic/
clouds.htm.
Know / review the following terms before
reading JetStream.
Dew point:
the temperature at which water
condensation begins.
Condensation: is the process whereby water
vapor in the atmosphere is returned to its liquid
state. In the atmosphere condensation may
appear as clouds, fog, mist, dew, or frost,
depending on the physical conditions of the
atmosphere.
3. From question 2 you learned rising air cools,
why does this cooling cause condensation?
Hint: explain in relation to water vapor.
Because cold air can hold less water vapor
than warm air
4. Why do clouds tend to evaporate as air
sinks?
As air sinks it is under more pressure that
adds heat to the air, warm air can hold more
water vapor so clouds evaporate.
5. What are the four basic cloud categories
(forms)?
Cirro, nimbo, cumulo, and strato
Saturation:
condition in which air at a
specific temperature contains all the water vapor
it can hold, which is at 100% relative humidity.
1. What two things can cause clouds to form?
Clouds form when air is cooled to its dew
point or when the air reaches saturation.
2. Why does rising air cool?
The warmed air near the ground rises as a
bubble or parcel of air. When the rising air
expands, it loses heat and becomes cooler.
6. Describe cirro clouds? What type of
weather are cirro clouds usually associated
with?
Wispy, feathery high level clouds composed
of ice crystals. Usually indicates fair
weather.
7. Describe nimbo clouds? What type of
weather are nimbo clouds usually associated
with?
Thick clouds forming between 7,000 and
15,000 feet. Steady rain.
18
8. Describe cumulo clouds? What type of
weather are cumulo clouds usually
associated with?
- cumulo clouds look like fluffy, rounded piles
of cotton. Usually indicates fair weather.
9. Describe strato clouds? What type of
weather are strato clouds usually associated
with?
Featureless low level clouds that can cover
all or most of the sky. Gray and dull
weather. As stratus clouds thicken, they
may produce drizzle, rain, or snow.
19
Becoming an Expert on Wind
To become an expert on wind, read the
information on wind and complete the questions.
Your textbook is also a good source of
information on weather.
Questions are based on the material presented in
JETSTREAM An Online Weather School
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/srh/jetstream/synoptic/
wind.htm.
5. What is meant by vertical wind and why are
these winds important?
Air rising and sinking – important in day to
day weather.
6. Why does rising air often lead to clouds and
precipitation?
Read up to Coriolis force.
1. What is wind?
Rising air becomes cool, often to saturation,
and condenses to form clouds because cool
air holds less water vapor. Rain and other
forms of precipitation fall from the clouds.
Air in motion
7. Why does sinking air result in fair weather?
2. In what direction, horizontal or vertical are
we usually taking about we discuss wind?
Horizontal
3. What does a forecast of east winds of 30 to
40 mile per hour (mph) mean?
Sinking air becomes warm causing
evaporation of clouds because warm air can
hold more water vapor and thus fair weather.
8. Besides temperature, which causes air to rise
(increase in temperature) and sink (decrease
in temperature), what is the other main
factor that causes wind?
Horizontal winds will be 30 to 40 mph from
the east
Differences in air pressure.
4. What can you observe that will indicate if
the wind is blowing?
By observing physical factors such as leaves
rustling, trees moving, waving water,
swaying flags, and so on.
9. What is the wind direction around a highpressure system?
Clockwise
10. What is the wind direction around a lowpressure system?
Counterclockwise
20
11. As the gradient (differences) in pressure
between a high and low-pressure system
increases, what happens to the wind speed?
12. Does warm or cool air hold more water
vapor?
When air cools it can hold less water vapor.
Iincreases
21
Becoming an Expert on Jetstreams
To become a n expert on jetstreams, read the
information on jetgstreams and complete the
questions. Your textbook is also a good source
of information on weather.
6. Draw a figure that shows where polar and
subtropical jet streams are generally located
on the earth.
polar
Questions are based on the material presented in
JETSTREAM An Online Weather School
http://www.srh.noaa.gov/jetstream/global/jet.ht
m.
1.
subtropical
subtropical
What are jetstreams?
polar
Relatively narrow bands of strong wind
in the upper levels of the atmosphere
2.
What general direction does the wind
blow in a jetstream?
7. How fast can the winds be in a jetstream?
275 mph
West to east
3.
Besides the direction mentioned in
question 2, what other direction can
jetstreams flow?
8. What variables are responsible for the actual
appearance of jetsreams?
High and low pressure sytems, warm and
cold air masses, and seasonal changes
North to south
4.
What do jetstreams follow?
Boundaries of hot and cold air
5. Why are jetstreams most pronounced during
the winter?
Hot and cold air boundaries are most
pronounced during the winter
9. In the spring, how does the jetstream help
bring warmer air to the U.S.?
Polar and subtropical jetstreams shift north
10. In the autumn, how does the jetstream help
bring cooler air to the U.S.?
Both jetstreams shift south
11. When are jet streams the strongest?
In both Northern and Southern hemisphere
winters.
22
Weatherman’s Backpack
Name: _____________________________
Class: _____________________________
Date:
_____________________________
23
Air Masses
1. What is an air mass?
Large body of air with uniform
temperature humidity.
3. Why is the U.S. not a favorable
source region?
Frequent passage of weather
disturbances that disrupt air masses that
do not allow the air mass to stagnate
and take on the properties of the
underlying region
5. How long can air masses control the
weather over a given area?
Days to months
2. What is a source region?
The area from which an air mass
originates.
4. A cold dry artic (polar) air mass may pick
up what characteristics as it passes over
an ocean?
Warmth and moisture.
6. Where do most changes in weather occur?
Along the periphery or boundaries called
fronts.
24
FRONTS
1. What is a front?
Boundary between two air masses.
3. What is a cold front? Draw the symbol
for a cold front. Be sure to use the
correct colors.
Cold air is replacing warm air.
5. What is a stationary front? Draw the
symbol for a stationary front. Be sure to
use the correct colors.
A front that is not moving.
2. How are fronts classified?
By which type of air the front is
replacing, e.g. a cold front – cold air is
replacing warm air.
4. What is a warm front? Draw the symbol
for a warm front. Be sure to use the
correct colors.
Warm air is replacing cold air.
6. How are the weather patterns different
between warm and cold fronts?
warm – widespread layered stratiform
clouds with precipitation along and to
the north of the front
cold – narrow band of showers and
thunderstorms
25
Precipitation
1. List at least three common forms of
precipitation.
rain, snow, sleet, hail, and freezing rain
3. What are the three primary sources of
moisture for precipitation in the U.S.?
Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and the
Gulf of Mexico
5. What is the most effective way for
clouds to form? Provide two ways
clouds form.
2. What four components are necessary for
precipitation to form?
1) source of moisture
2) winds to transport the moisture
3) clouds must form
4) process to allow water droplets to
grow large enough to fall
4. How is the moisture transported from the
source to inland areas?
winds around high and low pressure
systems
6. What often determines the type of
precipitation (rain, snow, sleet) during
the winter?
vertical distribution of temperature
lifting the air - by going over
mountains or forcing the air to rise near
fronts and low pressure areas
7. What is the difference in the atmosphere
between snow forming or sleet
forming?
a shallow warm layer of air is necessary
for sleet to form, but is not present
when snow forms
Instrument: rain gauge
Units: inches or millimeters
Symbol note: the symbols for precipitation
on a weather map are usually the words snow, rain, sleet, and thunderstorms – with
a semi to full circle showing the area where
the precipitation will occur.
26
Air Pressure
1. What makes up the air we breath?
atoms and molecules
3. Describe how we feel air pressure.
The atoms and molecules that make up
air exert weight on us. We feel this
weight as pressure.
5. Why does the air pressure decrease the
higher one goes into the atmosphere?
as elevation increases, less air
molecules are available and the weight
of air therefore is less, meaning a
decrease in air pressure.
\
2. What is air pressure?
Air pressure is simply the weight of air
surrounding an object.
4. How is air pressure associated with air
molecules?
Air pressure depends on the number of
air molecules in a given space and how
fast the molecules are moving.
6. What are the symbols for high- and lowpressure systems?
H – high
L – low
7. What type of weather is associated with
a high-pressure system and a lowpressure system?
H- fair
L – stormy
Instrument: Barometer
Units: millibars or inches of mercury
27
Heat Transfer
1. In what three ways can heat be
transferred?
By radiation, conduction, and
convection.
3. What is conduction?
2. What happens to most of the solar
energy that reaches the earth’s surface?
It is radiated back into the atmosphere
to become heat energy.
4. What is convection?
The transfer of heat energy in a fluid.
The transfer of heat energy from one
substance to another within a
substance.
5.
What is radiation?
Transfer of heat by electromagnetic
radiation..
7. Describe the process in which a warm
bubble of air is formed by heat energy.
The sun’s radiation strikes the ground,
warming the rocks, whose temperature
rises due to conduction. Heat energy is
then released into the atmosphere
forming the bubble of air that is warmer
than its surrounding air.
Instrument: Thermometer
Units: Degrees
6. How can heat transfer in the atmosphere
cause wind?
The hot air that is rising is replaced by
surrounding cooler air causing
28
Atmosphere Energy
1. What three things happen to the energy
from the sun when it reaches the earth?
reflected back to space by clouds,
absorbed by the atmosphere, and
absorbed by the earth’s surface
3. What is the greenhouse effect?
heating effect caused by having an
atmosphere
5. Why do cloudy nights tend to be
warmer?
2. How does the earth maintain a stable
temperature and climate?
Energy received from the sun balances
energy lost by earth back into space.
4. Why does the moon’s and earth’s
average surface temperatures differ?
earth has an atmosphere and the moon
does not
6. When are nights the coolest?
When there are clear skies.
Heat energy from the earth can be
trapped by clouds, leading to warmer
nights.
29
Clouds
1. What two things can cause clouds to
form?
clouds form when air is cooled to its
dew point or when the air reaches
saturation.
3. Why does rising air cool?
the warmed air near the ground rises as
a bubble or parcel of air. When the
rising air expands, it loses heat and
becomes cooler.
5. Describe nimbo clouds? What type of
weather are nimbo clouds usually
associated with?
thick clouds forming between 7,000
and 15,000 feet. Steady rain.
7. Describe strato clouds? What type of
weather are strato clouds usually
associated with?
featureless low level clouds that can
cover all or most of the sky. Gray and
dull weather. As stratus clouds thicken,
they may produce drizzle, rain, or
snow.
2. Why do clouds tend to evaporate as air
sinks?
as air sinks it is under more pressure
that adds heat to the air, warm air can
hold more water vapor so clouds
evaporate.
4. Describe cirro clouds? What type of
weather are cirro clouds usually
associated with?
Wispy, feathery high-level clouds
composed of ice crystals. Usually
indicates fair weather.
6. Describe cumulo clouds? What type of
weather are cumulo clouds usually
associated with?
cumulo clouds look like fluffy, rounded
piles of cotton. Usually indicates fair
weather.
30
Winds
1. Why does rising air often lead to clouds
and precipitation?
rising air becomes cool, often to
saturation, and condenses to form
clouds because cool air holds less water
vapor. Rain and other forms of
precipitation fall from the clouds.
3. Why does sinking air result in fair
weather?
sinking air becomes warm causing
evaporation of clouds because warm air
can hold more water vapor and thus fair
weather.
5. Does warm or cool air hold more water
vapor?
when air cools it can hold less water
vapor.
Instrument: Wind vane - direction
Units: Compass directions
Instrument: Anemometer – wind speed
Units: Miles per hour or kilometer per hour
2. What does sinking air do and what
weather does it cause?
Sinking air warms causing evaporation
of clouds, and fair weather.
4. What is the pressure gradient? How
does it impact wind speed?
The difference in pressure between
high and low pressures. The higher the
gradient the faster the wind speed.
6. What must happen as the air spreads
away from the highs?
Air from above must sink in to replace
it.
31
Jetstream
1. What are jet streams?
2. When are jet streams the strongest?
A relatively narrow band of strong
wind in the upper levels of the
atmosphere.
3. Draw a figure that shows where polar
and subtropical jet streams are
generally located on the earth.
In both Northern and Southern
hemisphere winters.
4. In the spring, how does the jetstream
help bring warmer air to the U.S.?
polar and subtropical jetstreams shift
north
polar
subtropical
subtropical
polar
5. What speed can jet streams reach?
Jet streams can reach speeds of more
than 275 miles per hour.
6. In the autumn, how does the jetstream
help bring cooler air to the U.S.?
both jetstreams shift south
7. What general direction does the wind
blow in a jetstream?
west to east
32
Probability Activity - Understanding the Difficulty in Forecasting the Future
4. Record if the ball landed in the box or the
toss missed the box.
Teacher Action - Setup
1. Divide the class into groups of 3-5 students.
Each group must have a nerf ball, forecast
box, and blank data table.
2. Students need to complete the data table, by
tossing the nerf ball into the forecast box at
various distances from the box.
3. Students need to answer the questions after
the data table.
Objective
To illustrate as people forecast farther into the
future, the harder it is to provide good forecasts.
Materials
One nerf ball and one forecast box for each
group
5. Complete the questions following the data
table as a group.
Concept
Tossing the nerf ball represents making a
forecast. The forecast can be for weather, the
stock market, or any other event you may want
to forecast. The idea remains the same for all
forecasting.
The distance from the box
represents the future you are forecasting as given
by the following timeline.
Another concept this activity can illustrate is as
follows: let the further away steps indicate lack
of knowledge. As knowledge increases, the
student moves closer to the box. Getting the
nerf ball in the box represents correct
understanding of the concepts / principles.
Illustrate why people need to be educated.
Procedures
1. Read the concept and understand the
timeline.
2. Place the forecast box on the floor.
3. As a group, complete the data table by
trying to toss the nerf ball into the forecast
box at different distances from the box.
Elect one student to be the thrower and use
the same student for all throws. This
eliminates differences in throwing skills.
Distance
1 step
3 steps
Day
Today
Tomorrow
In this timeline, it is currently today. One step
represents forecasting this afternoon, given the
conditions in the morning. Three steps represent
forecasting tomorrows conditions based on the
conditions in the morning today. Five steps
represent forecasting two days into the future
using today’s current conditions. Finally, 10
steps represent forecasting a week into the
future. The nerf ball landing in the box
represents two things 1) ease of making the
forecast and 2) how good the forecast is.
5 steps
10 steps
2 days into
the future
1 week into
the future
33
Data table for tossing the nerf ball. Place a one (1) in the table if the toss landed in the box, toss made,
and a zero (0) if the toss failed to land in the box.
Toss
1 step
3 steps
5 steps
10 steps
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Total the tosses
made
Questions
1. At what distance were the most tosses
made?
2. What is the relationship between the number
of tosses made and the distance from the
forecast box?
3. Recall, the tosses made represent a “good”
forecast. At what distance did you have the
most “good” forecasts?
4. What is the relationship between the number
of “good” forecasts and the number of days
into the future?
5. Provide some reasons why you found the
relationships in question 4 between forecasts
and distance into the future.
34
Hot/Cold Water Experiment
Now that students are familiar with the
terminology, discuss with them the local weather
patterns. What might cause changes in local or
microclimate weather?
** Read through the entire procedure first,
and then write down your hypothesis
BEFORE beginning.
Procedure:
For example, ask “How is the movement of cold
air masses different from that of hot air
masses?”
Density and Weather
Much of what we call “weather” is caused by the
differences in the density of different air masses.
Because it is difficult to see the movement of air
masses, we will observe the movements of
liquids with different densities. (Remember that
liquids and gases are very similar in the way
they move, except liquids ‘move’ slower!)
Purpose: To discover how different temperature
air masses interact with each other.
Hot
Cold
1. Fill the plastic box about 2/3 with room
temperature water. Let the tub of water sit
still in a position so all members can see it.
WRITE YOUR HYPOTHESIS WHILE
THE WATER IS ‘RESTING’.
2. Fill one small beaker with hot water. Add
several drops of red food coloring to color it
red. Stir the coloring around with a stir
stick.
3. Fill the other beaker with cold water. Add
several drops pf blue food coloring to color
it blue. Stir the coloring around with a stir
stick.
4. Gently place the two beakers into opposite
ends of the tub of water. The top of the
beakers should be above the water. Let the
water come to rest for a minute or two.
5. At the same time, gently tip the two beakers
towards the center of the pan of water. Let
the beakers lay on the bottom of the tub. Be
sure to remove your hands as gently as
possible so as to not disturb the water.
LEAVE THE BEAKERS THERE – DO
NOT TAKE THEM OUT!
** Read through the entire procedure first,
and then write down your hypothesis
BEFORE beginning.
Hot
Cold
Hypothesis:
If I mix cold water and hot water together in a
tub of water, the (write your hypothesis here
concerning the water mixture)
6. OBSERVE! Begin timing. During this time,
DO NOT MOVE THE DESKS!
35
c. Make one final observation from the top
of the box looking down into the tub.
Draw what you see.
7. After each time interval below, sketch how
the tub of water appears from the side?
a. After 10 seconds it looked like this:
a. After 60 seconds it looked like this:
Hot
Cold
b. After 60 seconds it looked like this:
CLEAN UP: Carefully pour the water into the
sink. Return all materials as where they were
when you began.
\
8. Was your hypothesis correct?
Hot
Cold
b. After 2 minutes it looked like this:
Hot
9. Explain your observations. (WHY did the
hot water in the tub do what it did? WHY
did the cold water do what it did?)
Cold
10. Since liquids and gases act the same way,
what does this tell you about the movement
of cold air and war, air? _
36
Differences in Local Weather
Objective: Help students realize that there are
local differences in weather (micro-climates)
and explore what might cause these variations.
Teacher asks, “Now that we have seen some of
the types of weather we have in our town, what
differences are there inside the town itself”.
Option 1:
Your City
Temperature Variation around
Equipment Required: Thermometers for each
student
Method: Have the students take the
thermometers home and read the temperature at
two set times (am and pm), and record the
temperature. The teacher will have a city map
posted in the classroom and the students will put
their temperature reading on the map each day
with a different colored pen for the am and pm
temperatures. The teacher will record the
official temperature at the am and pm times for
the local city. Students will calculate the
difference from their temperature and the
reported temperature for the town. Ask students
to list what might have caused the temperature
differences (e.g. concrete, asphalt, grass, trees
causing shade etc).
Option 2: Temperature Variation around the
School Grounds
Equipment Required: Thermometer for each
student
Method: Same as Option 1 except have the
students take temperatures around the school
grounds. Have a map of the school grounds and
have students put the different temperatures on
the map. Are there any temperature differences
between the parking lot, playground, and lawn
areas? Question to have students answer is,
“How much area do you need to observe slight
temperature differences?” Do this on both a
cloudy day and a sunny day, are there
differences on both days. Which day has the
most variation? Why?
Option 3: Temperature Variation around
Students’ Homes
Equipment Required: Thermometer for each
student
Method:
Have students take temperature
measures around their home at 5 time intervals
during the next Saturday (e.g. 9 am, 12 noon, 3
pm and 7 pm). Have students create a table of
temperatures at five locations around their home
at these times. Ask students to identify factors
that cause these temperature changes during the
day. Identify which students found the most
variation around their house and ask them to
explain why they had this much variation.
Option 4: Rainfall Variation
Equipment Required: rain gauge for each
student (may be available from local hardware,
lumber, machinery or farm supply stores in
country, at little or no cost). Large pill bottles
from a pharmacy or film canisters will also
work.
Methods: Have the students measure the
amount of precipitation over one week at their
home. Compare this to the official rainfall for
the town. Have each student enter the amount of
rainfall at the students’ homes on a map of the
school district. Have the students identify
reasons why the rainfall might be different.
37
Drawing a Weather Map
Snow
H
L
Rain
Draw the following weather factors on the map of North America, using your Weatherman’s
Backpack. Be sure to use the correct symbols and colors.
1. Place a high-pressure system to the west of
the Great Lakes in central U.S.
5. Show that rain is possible in the along the
western Gulf of Mexico coast.
2. Place a low-pressure system over the
southeastern U.S.
6. Draw a cold front approaching western U.S.
from the Pacific Ocean.
3. Draw a warm front that extends from the
southwestern U.S., between the two above
pressure systems to the northeastern U.S.
7. Show that snow is possible in front of the
cold front in the western U.S.
4. Draw a stationary front that goes from the
Gulf of Mexico through Florida to the
Atlantic Ocean.
38
Making Inferences from a Weather Map
Answer the following questions based on the attached weather map and your knowledge from the
Weatherman’s Backpack activity
1. Where would you expect heavy rains in the
U.S?
West Texas
2. What kind of front runs from the Gulf of
Mexico through Florida to the Atlantic
Ocean?
4. How will the temperature be changing in the
next few days in the area of Great lakes?
Warm to cold
5. How will the precipitation outlook change in
the next few days in the area of Great lakes?
Clear changing to rain
Stationary front
3. What kind of weather would be expected in
western Canada?
Snow
6. What kind of weather would be expected in
northwestern U.S.?
Rain
39
Appendix A
Weatherman’s Backpack – Jigsaw Approach
One method of teaching is the jigsaw approach.
In this approach, students are placed into groups.
Each group becomes the “expert” in a particular
topic. After the groups have completed the
expert materials, new groups are formed with an
expert from each topic in the new group. An
example for three topics is given in the figure
below. Each box represents a group. In this
setup, Claudia, Jose, and Fred become experts
on air masses, Seth, Cindy, and Lebron become
experts on precipitation, and Ivan, Megan, and
LeAnn are the winds experts. Each expert
member then teaches their topic to students in
the new group. For example, in new group 1,
Claudia would teach air masses, Seth
precipitation, and Ivan winds. New groups 2
and 3 would be similar. In teaching the material
in the new groups, each student in the class,
finishes their Weatherman’s Backpack.
the National Weather Services JETSTREAM,
Online
Weather
School,
http://www.srh.weather.gov/srh/jetstream. Each
area provides a links to specific web pages.
Included are nine topic, the teacher should
modify the content as appropriate for their
classroom setting. JETSTREAM contains many
more topics. Online School is used with
permission from the National Weather Service.
Suggested Expert and Weatherman’s backpack
materials are provided. The material is based on
The jigsaw idea can be modified to fit your
textbook.
.
Each expert material contains 8 - 15 questions
designed to provide the student the necessary
knowledge to help fellow students complete the
Weatherman’s Backpack.
The Backpack
provides questions that is a summary of
necessary knowledge and as such provides a
review sheet for testing purposes.
The
Backpack has approximately six questions on
each area.
Air Masses
Claudia
Jose
Fred
Precipitation
Seth
Cindy
Lebron
Winds
Ivan
Megan
LeAnn
New Group 1
Claudia
Seth
Ivan
New Group 2
Jose
Cindy
Megan
New Group 3
Fred
Lebron
LeAnn