Weather Scope
Table of Contents Using Real-Time Data Lesson Plans Implementation Assistance
 
Lesson 3: Track Weather like a Meteorologist
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Overview
Students will use both the weather instruments they previously made and the Internet to collect and record weather measurements for your city as well as two other cities over a of two week period (minimum). These measurements should not take longer than 5-10 minutes daily so you can also complete the first Factors that influence Climatological Temperature activities / lessons during the same time period after the students have gathered and recorded the daily weather data each day.

Objectives
Students will:
  • keep a weather record;
  • access real-time weather measurements from the Internet; &
  • collect data about weather over an extended period of time.

Time
Students should collect the weather data every day for a two week period (minimum). Allow 5-10 minutes each day for the students to make and record their observations. The first day may also take longer.
NOTE: If you are unable to take the weather measurements one day or over a weekend, you can always use the "Historical" data from the weather web site.

Materials
  • Weather Learning Log or Student Worksheet
    • Optional: Download an Excel spreadsheet activity3.xls (22 KB) or Word document activity3.doc (239 KB) for each student or for the class to record the measurements electronically.
  • World map: world-dw.pdf (809KB) or world-dwl.gif (42KB)
  • Weather instruments from Activity 1
  • Computer with Internet access
  • Wall chart for daily weather data (optional; see below)

Teacher Preparation
  • IMPORTANT: Review the following back-up and limited access information prior to introducing this activity to your students (will open in a separate pop-up window).
  • Schedule a two-week period during which the students can go outside at the same time each day to collect the weather data. If it is not possible to collect weather readings every day, use newspapers or the historical information from the weather web site to collect the data.
  • Optional: prepare a "weather calendar" for the time period during which students will be collecting data. The simplest way to do this is to construct a calendar facsimile with a large (at least 6" x 6" / 15cm x 15cm) block for each day of the two-week period.
  • Weather related-topics:

Procedure


Part 1: Locate and Answer
If students are not familiar with latitude and longitude, you may need begin the lesson with a brief activity to introduce them to this concept. Alternatively, you can help the students locate the two cities on a wall-sized world map and place a sticker to identify each of the cities. Students should then answer the two questions after they have located the two cities on a world map.

Part 2: Prepare your Weather Learning Log
Tell the students that they are now going to use the Internet and the weather instruments they made to record weather measurements every day for a two-period (or however long you decide) in their log, student worksheet, or in one of the electronic formats using the downloadable Excel (activity3.xls) or Word (activity3.doc) documents . Regardless of which format you decide, discuss how to make the entries in the weather log. For example, each student should make an individualized report, students in each group can take turns making entries, but all should participate in the data collection.

  • If you are not using the Weather Learning Logs, you will simply need to distribute the Student Worksheet or Word document for each student or group of students.
  • The downloadable Excel document can be used in one of two ways: each student or group of students can individually save and update their own document or a master-class document can be used and updated by different students / groups during the two-week period.
  • The Excel document is formatted a little different than the Student Worksheet. Instead of three separate tables, each weather variable (temperature, air pressure, etc.) has been sub-divided by each of the three cities. This was done to make it easier to graph and compare the different cities after all the measurements over the two-week period have been recorded.

Part 3: Track Weather like a Meteorologist
Each day over a two-week-period (minimum), students should take the weather measurements using their class instruments and the weather web sites linked to the activity. If you are using a wall chart, you should assign alternating groups of students to update it. On the first day, you should demonstrate what the students will do during the two-week period and lead them through the first entry; then they should be able to do the data collection themselves. If you opt for different groups to take the daily weather measurements and share with the class, it is helpful to design and post a task-calendar and assign the days to the different groups.

  1. Weather at your school - Review the following important notes before beginning this activity:
    • Collect the weather data using the weather instruments at the same time each day, preferably at some time between 1:00 - 3:00 pm. This is because it is generally the hottest part of the day and can then be compared accurately with the high temperatures from the other two cities (see below).
    • Measure the temperature using the commercial thermometer in the shade. You will also need to leave the rain gauge outside in a secured area to collect the daily precipitation totals.
    • Measure air pressure using the weather web site. If you decide to continue to use the class barometer, record the measurements in a separate place.
    • If your school building or class is in an urban setting and the anemometer and wind vane will be obstructed by buildings, use the weather web site to insure accuracy.
  2. Weather from New York, NY, USA and Sao Paulo, Brazil
    • If you leave the weather web pages open for a long period of time, click the refresh button on your browser to insure that you have the most updated weather information.
    • Daily precipitation data is not available using the primary web site for either New York or Sao Paulo and therefore will not be measured. However, students should use the class rain gauge to measure for their city. As an optional activity, precipitation data is available using the back-up site for New York city and can be recorded.
    • IMPORTANT: Students should record only the high temperatures from each day's forecast. Since these are real time weather readings, the time of day in the regions may be quite different and therefore it would be inaccurate to compare the current temperature of different cities at different times.
  3. Repeat for Two Weeks: Students should continue to record the weather measurements every day for the two-week period. If you are unable to record the data for one day or over the weekend, you can always use the "Historical" data for the previous days.

EXTENSION - Satellite Maps & Web cams:
Print a satellite map and / or live photo using the links provided every day. At the end of the two weeks, make a poster displaying all of the images in series. This will really bring the weather data observations 'to life'.

Assessment Suggestions
Make each student or cooperative group responsible for the chart.

Student Activity


NOTE: The following instructions also appear in the Student Activities.
Notebook Top Left Corner  Activity 3: Track Weather like a Meteorologist Notebook Top Right Corner
  Part 1: Locate and Answer
  1. Locate the following two cities on a world map.
    • New York, NY, USA (41° N 74° W)
    • Sao Paulo, Brazil (24° S, 47° W)
  2. Based on its location on the map, what do you think the temperature will be like in New York? Why?
  3. Based on its location on the map, what do you think the temperature will be like in Sao Paulo? Why?

Part 2: Prepare your Weather Learning Log
Format approximately 3 pages in your Weather Learning Log (one page per city) to record the following current weather conditions for the next 2 weeks. Each page should be numbered from 1- 14 (one line for each day).
  Date High Temp.*
(șC)
Wind Speed
(km/h)
Wind Direction
 (N, S, etc.)
Air Pressure
(mb)
Precipitation
(mm)
Sky Conditions
(clear, partly cloudy, etc.)
1.
2.              
...              
14.              

* Important: Since these are real time weather readings, remember the time of day in the regions may be quite different. Therefore, compare the high temperature readings for today's forecast.

Part 3: Track Weather like a Meteorologist
Each day over a two-week-period (minimum), record the following weather measurements and add them to your Weather Learning Log. If you are using a wall chart, add them there as well.
  1. Weather at your school
    Use your class weather instruments and the weather web site below to record your measurements in the table marked "Data from My Town".
  2. Weather from New York, NY, USA and Sao Paulo, Brazil
    Record the current weather conditions from the cities below in your Weather Learning Log (click the Refresh / Reload button on your browser to update the following Real-Time data feeds):
  3. Repeat for Two Weeks
    Record the current conditions for your city, New York City, and Sao Paulo every day for a two week period. If you are unable to record the data for one day or over the weekend, use the "Historical" data to complete the data tables.

 

EXTENSION - Satellite Maps & Web cams:
Print a satellite map and live photo of the two regions you are studying every day and at the end of the two weeks, make a poster displaying all of the images in series.
  • Satellite Maps: access and print a satellite map where your country/continent is located each day. After you record each day's measurements, try to predict the next day's sky conditions based on the maps.
  • Web cam: access one of the following web cams and print out the image (color printouts work best).

 
Notebook Bottom Left Corner   Notebook Bottom Right Corner
 

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