Water Cycle - Weather (3)
Pre Lab 

   
OBJECTIVES:
  • Exploring how weather is formed in the atmosphere.
  • Discovering how water condenses from air.
VOCABULARY:
  • condensation
  • hail
  • sleet
  • water vapor
MATERIALS:

Students research questions on the weather.

 

BACKGROUND:

Weather is a phenomenon that we experience each day, but yet it is scientifically complex. Many children think that we can predict the weather exactly. They see weather personalities on the television with assurances that it will be a sunny or a rainy day. Children often forget those times when the weather person's prediction was wrong.

The atmosphere is forever on the move. Movement is not only because the Earth is rotating on its axis, but temperature and moisture differences causes shifts in the movements. The lowest part of the atmosphere is constantly swirling and stirring which is an area called the troposphere. It is here that everything we call weather occurs.

PROCEDURE:
  1. Give students the weather placemats and/or Internet access.
      
    We recommend Danís Wild Weather Page, An Interactive weather page for kids by Dan Satterfield. Chief Meteorologist for Newschannel 19 in Huntsville, Alabama. This site easily directs students to other sites where they can find answers.
     http://www.wildwildweather.com/ 
        
  2. Use the placemats to show students a weather map. Review the 4 elements of weather: moisture, air pressure, wind, and temperature. A meteorologist someone who studies the weather would also include humidity (the amount of uncondensed water vapor in the air), visibility (the maximum horizontal distance at which you can see an object), and radiation (the number of hours of bright sunshine per day).
      
  3. Ask students the following questions which they can answer on their worksheet. Make sure they reference where they found the answers.  
  1. What is weather?
    Weather is a condition of the air outside.
      
  2. How does the sun affect the weather?
    The Sun provides heat. Some parts of the world heat up differently. The differences cause instabilities in the air, which will provide weather.
      
  3. What makes the wind?
    The Sun gives us heat. The Sun and the air together give us wind.
      
  4. How does moisture precipitate in the atmosphere? 
    In lab students will be concentrating on looking at condensation products and precipitation. Water vapor may condense into a liquid or solid particles which when formed on the ground is termed dew and when formed in the air is termed cloud. When cloud particles become large enough to precipitate, they can fall in the forms of rain, snow, sleet (frozen raindrops), and hail (a complex of clear ice).

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