This project explores factors that help create severe winter weather. An interactive simulation provides hands-on experience, followed by guiding questions and resource exploration.
Form groups of three. Explore the following simulation:
Weather Maker Simulator
Use the simulation to answer the following questions on paper.
1. In general, when are winds formed?
2. When winds are blowing, how can you get them to stop?
3. What can you do to make it rain or even snow?
4. Does it always snow when there are clouds in the sky? What did you have to do to make that happen?
5. How does relative humidity interact with temperature differences?
Next, find out more about winter storms here:
Winter Storm Page: Weather Wiz Kids
Now answer the following questions on paper:
1. In the simulation, what likely was causing the "Poleward" temperature?
2. In the simulation, what likely was causing the "Equatorward" temperature?
3. In the simulation, was the house located at a weather "front"? Why or why not?
Finally, learn about humidity here:
Humidity: Dan's Wild Weather Page
Then, answer these questions:
1. What is the difference between "relative humidity" and "dewpoint"?
2. In the simulation, why did raising the relative humidity often result in precipitation?
3. In the simulation, why did even low relative humidity tend to produce precipitation when there was low "poleward" temperature?
Discuss your conclusions with your research group. Then add a slide to explain storms and severe weather to your group's Powerpoint presentation on "What Makes the Weather"