Pequot Lakes High School

    Instructor: Daren Blanck, MS                Room: 322                
    Telephone: 568-9219                            Gmail:
    Semester:  II  
                                        Credit: .5                        
    Text: See "Online Texts" page


Week 1-2 
Class Intro, History of Meteorology, Seasonal Variations.
Assignment: Weather Instrument Report
Reading Assignment: Atmospheric Composition 
(from online text "Fundamentals...")

Week 3
Structure of the Atmosphere, Tropospheric Air Pollution
Powerpoint Presentation: Atmosphere
Reading Assignment 1: The Layered Atmosphere 
(from "Fundamentals...")
Reading Assignment 2: Layers of the Atmosphere (from NWS)
Optional Assignment: Saved by the Sun (Learn more about solar energy as a solution to our energy needs and climate change fears.  Click on the "Saved by the Sun" anchor link.  20 x-c points possible if done by next Friday.)  

Week 4

Stratospheric Ozone, Ionosphere and Aurorea Borealis 
Reading Assignment 1: The Ozone Layer 
(from "Fundamentals...")
Homework Assignment: Graphing Ozone and ClO

Reading Assignment 2 and Worksheet: Our Ozone Shield
WebQuest Assignment: The Aurora
Reading Assignment 3: The Ionosphere (from NWS)

Homework Assignment: AM in the PM
      Note: Select and print the "Radio Station Reception Formto the right of  PRINTED/AV MATERIALS.  Read the Background, Procedure, and Discussion at the bottom of the page for additional directions.

Extension Activity
     Space Storms - Aurora:

Week 5 
Components of Weather: Temperature, and Heat Transfer.

Reading Assignment 1: The Concept of Temperature
 (from "Fundamentals...")
Video: Infrared Observations
Homework Assignment: Temperature Conversions 
Reading Assignment 2: The Transfer of Heat Energy (from NWS)
Homework Assignment: Isothermal Mapping Activity
Reading Assignment 3: What Causes the Seasons (from NWS)
Graphic: Earth's Tilt Creates the Seasons (from USA Today)
Homework Assignment: Seasonal Change on Land and Water

Extension Activity
     Absolute Zero:

Week 6    
Components of Weather: Air Pressure, Barometric Measurement
Reading Assignment 1: Air Pressure Introduction (from NWS) 
Reading Assignment 2: Mercury Barometer (from USA Today) 
Reading Assignment 3: Aneroid Barometer (from USA Today)
Reading Assignment 4: Isobars (from Univ. of Illinois)
Homework Assignment: Air Pressure and Temperature Lapse Rate Calculations

* Extension Activity – Build one of the two barometers described in the reading.  Bring it to school and demonstrate it for 15 extra credit points!

   Wet Barometer Link

   Dry Barometer Link


Week 7 Components of Weather: Local and Regional Winds
The Weather Book Chapter 3 Reading Worksheet
(Note: The Weather Book is not available online.)
Reading Assignment 1: Forces Acting to Create Wind (from "Fundamentals...")

Reading Assignment 2: Local and Regional Wind Systems (from "Fundamentals...")

Week 8 

Components of Weather: Global Winds and Wind Chill
Homework Assignment: Wind Energy
Reading Assignment 1: Global Circulation 
(from NWS)

Reading Assignment 2: The Jet Stream (from NWS)
Homework Assignment: Wind Chill

Week 9    
Components of Weather: Absolute and Relative Humidity.

Reading Assignment: Dewpoint, Relative Humidity & Absolute Humidity
 (from NWS)
Homework Assignment: The Weather Book Ch. 5 Part 1 Reading Worksheet
(Note: The Weather Book is not available online.)

Week 10    
Components of Weather: More on Humidity/Cloud Formation
Reading Assignment: The Hygrometer - Another Way to Measure Humidity
Reading Assignment: The Heat Index
Reading Assignment: The Water Cycle
Reading Assignment: Latent Heat
Homework Assignment: Lake Effect Storms 
Homework Assignment: The Weather Book Ch. 5 Part 2 Reading Worksheet
(Note: The Weather Book is not available online.)

Week 11 & 12
Components of Weather: Cloud Types and Precipitation
Reading Assignment: Cloud Formation

Power Point Presentation: Clouds
Reading Assignment: Cloud Classification
Homework Assignment: Head in the Clouds 
    Note: Select and print the "Cloud observing form" to the right of  PRINTED/AV MATERIALSYou will want to reference the  Cloud Classification  Reading Assignment repeatedly to complete this activity.

Reading Assignment: Precipitation
Reading Assignment: Atmospheric Stability

Reading Assignment; Definitions of Precipitation
Homework Assignment: Stability and Precipitation 

Week 13    
Station Models, Air Masses, Fronts and Weather Forecasting 

Reading Assignment: Station Models
Homework Assignment: Station Models (Print and Complete)
Power Point Presentation: Air Masses and Fronts

Reading Assignment: Air Masses and Fronts
Homework Assignment: Air Masses and Fronts (Print and Complete)

Reading Assignment: The Mid Latitude Cyclone
Online Practice: Weather Map Activity

Homework Assignment: SAM 2 Wind Profiler (Print and Complete)
(You must also Download the Profiler Worksheet HERE to complete this last assignment)

Week 14-15: 
Severe Weather: Thunderstorms and Tornados
Reading Assignments:
1. Introduction to Thunderstorms
2. Necessary Ingredients for Thunderstorms
3. How Lightning is Created
4. Life Cycle of a Thunderstorm
5. Types of Thunderstorms
6. Thunderstorm Hazards - Hail
7. Thunderstorm Hazards - Damaging Wind
8. Thunderstorm Hazards - Tornadoes

Homework Assignment: Reading Review #1

9. Tropical Cyclone Introduction
10. Tropical Cyclone Classification
11. Tropical Cyclone Structure
12. Tropical Cyclone Hazards

Homework Assignment - Looking at Severe Weather: Lightning and Tornados(Read the directions on this website)
    Print and complete these pages to turn in:
Figure 3.1. Plots of National Deaths by Year for 1988 - 1990.
Figure 3.2. Questions Sheet (Be sure to put your NAME at the top of these!)

Homework Assignment - Forecasting Tornados: Temperature, Dewpoint, and Air Pressure (
Read the directions on this website)
    Print and complete these pages to turn in: 
    Figure 4.3 Skew-T Diagram Template and Figure 4.4 Analyzing your Skew-T Diagram

* CLASS NOTES: The power point presentation on Thunderstorms and Tornadoes can be downloaded HERE for Part 1, and HERE for Part 2

Week 16-17    
Global Climate Change

Climate Science Power Point

Homework Assignment: Climate Science Project CLICK HERE

Week 18      
Meteorology Wrap Up, Research Reports Due, Final Test


Quizzes and Tests: (Grade Weight: 50%)
• Test will be given at the end of every unit.  There will be no retests.  Unannounced (pop) quizzes will be given periodically throughout the semester.  Therefore, it is essential that you keep up with assignments, assigned reading, etc. 
• There will be a comprehensive final at the end of each semester. 

Labs and Projects: (Grade Weight: 20%)
• In lab exercises and on projects you learn by doing.  Read and follow the directions carefully before you begin.  While working in the lab, safety is your highest priority.  You will need to obey the following 
rules in order to work in the lab.  If you fail to abide by them you may receive no grade for a lab, be 
barred from using the lab in the future, or face other disciplinary actions. 

    • 2) Only authorized experiments may be performed.
    • 3) You may handle only those chemicals or equipment for which you have recieved instruction.
    • 4) You must handle chemicals or equipment consistent with the instruction you have recieved.
    • 5) You must dispose of all chemicals, disposable equipment, and biological waste only as instructed.
    • 6) You may not taste, smell, or mix unknown chemicals unless instructed to do so.
    • 7) Know where emergency equipment is in the lab, how to use it, and only use it in an emergency.
    • 8) Safety goggles are required in many laboratory situations.  Wear them when instructed.
    • 9) Report all broken glass, damaged equipment, or spilled chemicals before you attempt clean up or repair.
    • 10) Report all injuries to yourself or others immediately.

Homework Assignments: (Grade Weight: 20%)  
• Completed homework assignments should be placed in the basket by the door or posted to my Gmail account.  (Note: This account may only be used for assignment submission or class related questions or concerns.)  In most instances you may choose to submit your work either electronically or in hard copy.  In some cases I may require you to do one or the other.  
• Assignments with no name will receive no credit.  Assignments must have the date and period printed or typed at the top of the document or they will be counted as one day late.   
• Assignments are due by 3:15 PM on the posted due date.  Assignments turned in one day late will be worth 1/2 credit.  No credit will be given after one day.
• Late-Pass: You will receive one “Late-Pass” to use at your discretion each quarter.  You must complete the entire assignment and attach the late pass.  You will then receive full credit on this one assignment if turned in one day late or 1/2 credit on an assignment turned in more than one day late.  Late-Passes may not be used on tests, quizzes, major projects, or group assignments.  An unused late pass is worth 5 pts. 

Make-up Work:  
• Missed Notes: If you have been absent it is your responsibility to get notes from a classmate, make up any work assigned, or arrange a time to take a quiz or test. 
• Missed Tests and Assignments: You may make up a test according to the PLHS make-up policy.
• Missed Pop Quizzes: You must complete one article report assignment per quiz.
• Missed Labs: We will discuss a “make-up” plan together.  For most labs, you must make-up the lab before or after school.  In other cases an article report may be assigned.
• All make-up work (including substitute article reports) should be handed into the basket with the words “Make Up” clearly written on the top or it will be graded as though it were late.  

• Don’t bow to the temptation of CHEATING, including plagerism. 

    • First Offense: Loss of credit for the assignment.  You may re-do the assignment if you choose. (Your Skyward grade will show one point unless the assignment is redone)
    • Second Offense: Loss of credit for the assignment.  You will not be allowed to re-do the assignment.
    • Third Offense: I will recommend NO CREDIT for the class.  

• Your grades may be accessed at any time using your Skyward Student Access account.  Get your password from the office and keep it for your use.  I will print out progress reports periodically but not on demand.  
• Your course grade will be determined by determining your average grade after giving each quarter equal weight.  It will not be determined cumulatively. 
• Grading Scale:  

    • A -  90 - 100+%      
    • B -  80 - 89.99%     
    • C - 70 - 79.99%   
    • D - 60 - 69.99%


 Hurricane Clips from PBS NOVA

Hurricanes (Jan. 2005)
Predicting a hurricane's intensity is notoriously difficult, but new tools may make it easier. (12 mins.)

Hurricane Katrina (Oct. 2005)
Scientists' warnings proved sadly prescient about New Orleans' risk from hurricanes. (4 mins.)

Storm That Drowned a City (Nov. 2005)
Experts and eyewitnesses reconstruct the devastating floods that Hurricane Katrina unleashed on New Orleans. Watch now (49 mins.)

Stronger Hurricanes (Jan. 2006)
Is global warming making hurricanes more intense? (6 mins.)


Primary Text Books:
JetStream (NOAA Online School for Weather)

Fundamentals of Physical Geography: The Atmosphere

USA Today Atmospheric Science Resources

Supplemental Reading, Notes, and Activities
NWS Training Exercises and Documents (
Forecast Office - Louisville, KY)

The Physical Environment (Ritter, Michael E.)

The Online Meteorology Guide (University of Illinois)

Hands-On, Minds-On Meteorology Concept Models 
(University of Illinois)

Exercises Developed for Introduction to Meteorology 
(University of Illinois)

Survey of Meteorology Class Notes

History of Meteorology & the Earth's Atmosphere

Student Activities in Meteorology

Weather Sayings

Datastreme AMS

Storm Brochures

Cloud Catalog

Mr. Franklin’s Meteorology Notes

Geoffrey Stano "Orientation in Professional Meteorology" Lecture Notes

NOAA Paleoclimatology Program 


Weather Instrument Research Paper

You will choose or be assigned to research one of the following meteorological instruments:
Anaeroid (Aneroid) Barometer        
Mercury Barometer        
Mercury Thermometer    
Bimetallic Thermometer    
Radar/Doplar Radar
Wind Vane
Radio Sond/Weather Balloon
Other (with instructor approval)

Use online resources to answer the following in essay (paragraph) form:

A. What is your instrument used for?  What meteorological data can be collected with it?

B. When was it invented?  By whom?

C. Describe how your instrument works in detail.

D. Draw a diagram of your instrument labelling its parts.

E. Include a bibliography citing at least two sources other than your textbook using Chicago format.

F. Your paper must be at least  2 pages in length, not counting diagrams or  illustrations, typed, double-spaced, 1” margins, and use 12-14 pt. font.

G. Avoid plagerism like the plague.  You will receive no credit for plagerized work.

Week 7 Extension Opportunity:  Build either the “wet” or “dry” barometer as described in the “learning lesson” links in your reading.  Bring yours in for 15 points!

     Wet Barometer Link

     Dry Barometer Link 

WebQuest: The Aurora

1. Copy and paste the following questions into a word processing document.
2. Access the website Aurora Paintings in the Sky at
3. Find the answers to the questions in the Self Guided Tour section of the Aurora Paintings in the Sky site.
4. Your answers should be in complete sentences.  Don't plagerize.
5. Write your name on your answer sheet and turn it in. 

The Aurora    Name: ______________________________________

1. What do aurora look like from here on Earth?  Briefly explain in words and then draw a sample of that they look like using colored pencils.  (Be sure you leave space for this!)

2. What causes aurora? 

3. What connection is there between auroras and the sun?

4. What colors of aurora can we see?

5. Why are aurora different colors?

6. What would aurora look like from space? 

7. Where can we see aurora?  

8. How often do aurora occur? 

9. What are some myths surrounding aurora?

Directions: Paste the questions at the bottom of this page into a word processing document and, using Figures 1, 2 & 3 and the following reading, answer them in complete sentences. 

Seasonal Change on Land and Water

Figure 1: Insolation

Figure 1 is a visualization of the solar radiation, or insolation, in January and July.

Insolation is the primary cause for surface temperature on Earth.  Insolation refers to the energy that is coming to Earth in the form of sunlight. This energy (or light) is measured in units of watts per meter squared. 

One way to think about insolation is to consider that the average amount of energy coming to Earth in July is roughly 300 watts per meter squared. Imagine this as hanging three 100-watt light bulbs over every square meter of the earth.  It is this energy that provides the basis for all life on Earth.  The amount that arrives each day dwarfs the amount of energy that people produce with power plants.

Why does this energy vary by latitude?  The explanation for this has to do with how sunlight spreads over the spherical, tilted Earth. The rays of the summer sun, high in the sky, arrive at a steep angle and heat the land much more than those of the winter sun, which hit at a shallow angle. Although the length of the day is an important factor in explaining why summers are hot and winter cold, the angle of sunlight is even more important. In the arctic summer, though the sun shines 24 hours a day, it produces only moderate warmth, because it skims around the horizon and its light arrives at a low angle.

(Read What Causes the Seasons? from NOAA)

Figure 2: Surface Temperature

Surface temperatures are not a direct function of insolation.  Instead, the surface temperature depends on the geography, with land and water requiring very different amounts of energy to change their temperature.

Land and water have different heat capacities.  In other words, water can absorb much more heat energy before it heats up, while land heats and cools very quickly as it absorbs incoming solar radiation.  

In Figure 2 the colors have been arranged so that there is a sharp discontinuity between the warm colors (red, orange, and yellow) and the cool colors (purple and blue).  The switch occurs at 0°C (32°F) which is the temperature at which water freezes.  

Notice that in January both polar areas are freezing but that in July it is largely Antarctica which is frozen. As you study these images, keep in mind that ocean water requires a colder temperature than 0°C to freeze. 

Figure 3 Seasonal Change in Surface Temperature

This visualization was achieved by subtracting January from July.  The red areas represent a positive value, meaning that the temperature is warmer in July than in January.   The blue areas represent a negative value, meaning that the temperature is cooler in July than in January.

This type of visualization is useful to understand how areas change over time.  What does a very dark red color mean?  What does a color very close to white mean? 

Thre is a large differences in the temperatures experienced between the hemispheres:  Most of the land on Earth is located in the Northern Hemisphere.  Therefore, seasonal change in the Northern Hemisphere is more extreme than in the Southern Hemisphere.

Seasonal Changes Questions  Name: _____________________________

Insolation (Figure 1)

1. Overall, how does January and July insolation compare?

2. The hemisphere getting the most energy is the one experiencing summer. Which hemisphere is experiencing summer in January? Which hemisphere is experiencing summer in July?

3. Why are the incoming solar energy visualizations for January and July nearly opposite of each other?

4. Notice that the two hemispheres do not get equal amounts of energy. During which month does the hemisphere experiencing summer get the most energy? Is it the Southern Hemisphere in January or the Northern Hemisphere in July?

5. Why is the summer hemisphere you selected in question 4 is getting more energy? 

Surface Temperature (Figure 2)

6. Why are the temperature patterns (Figure 2) so much more complex than the incoming solar energy patterns (Figure 1)?

7. Look at the visualization of earth surface temperature for January and July (Figure 2). Globally, which month is warmer? (Hint: look at the extremes -- where are the coldest areas? Where are the hottest areas?)

Seasonal temperature difference (Figure 3)

8. Why is the red mainly in the north and the blue mainly in the south (e.g. what do the colors red and blue mean in this visualization)?

9. Contrast the changes on land with the changes on water. Which changes more, Land or Water?

10. Which hemisphere has the most land, the Northern or the Southern?

11. Why does the Northern hemisphere have a hotter summer and a colder winter than the Southern Hemisphere? 

Isothermal Mapping Activity
Step 1: Practice making an isothermal map on the NWS Jetstream site.  Print off the practice map and follow the directions, checking your work as you go. Click here for the practice activity "Drawing Conclusions".

Step 2: Download a current temperature map, print it off, and draw Isotherms for today's temperature as you did in the practice exercise (step 1). Click here to download a current temperature map.

Step 3: Color the regions between each isotherm using colored pencils or pens.  You may use the color key used in the example below or create your own.  Be sure to add a color key on your map, put your name and period on it, and turn it in.

Example of a colored Isothermal Map.  Note the color key on the left side.

Air Pressure and Temperature Lapse Rate

Directions: Print the following worksheet and write or calculate your answers.  You will need a calculator for this assignment. 

Name:________________________________  Period: ________ Date: ________ 

Air Pressure and Temperature Lapse Rate Calculations

The formula for decrease in Air Pressure with altitude is:        

PS - (A • CP) = PA 
PS  = the Pressure at the Surface                
A    = the Altitude above the surface                
CP  = the Constant lapse rate for air Pressure  
=.1 mb/meter  
PA  = the Pressure at Altitude                

The formula for decrease in Air Temperature with altitude is:

TS - (A • CT) = TA

TS  = The Temperature at the Surface
A    = the Altitude above the surface
CT  = the Constant lapse rate for air Temperature  = .0065oC/meter
TA   = the Temperature at Altitude

Directions: You may use your notes and any handouts or worksheets that you wish to complete the following problems.  

You MUST show your work.  Partial  credit will be given if you do not get the right answer but you show your work:

1. PS = 1015.8 mb, A = 1000 meters.  Find PA.

2. TS = 34oC, A = 2000 meters. Find TA.

3. PS = 1034.6 mb, PA = 980 mb. Find A.

4. TS = 10oC, TA = 0oC.  Find A.

5. If the pressure at the surface is 1010.2 mb, what is the pressure at 1000 meters above the surface?

6. If the temperature at the surface is 25oC, what is the temperature at 1000 meters above the surface?

7. If the pressure at the surface is 5 mb higher than standard pressure at sea level, what is the pressure 8,003 meters above the surface?

8. If the temperature 2000 meters above sea level is -30oC, what is the temperature at sea level?

9. A pilot flying without radar wishes to learn her altitude, she has a barometer and a radio.  She hears a local weather report indicating that the barometer reading at the surface is 1021.3 mb, however her barometer reads 832.9 mb.  What is her altitude above the surface?

10. The crew of a supersonic transport plane discovers a problem with their heating system while flying over Midway Island in the Pacific.  Their barometer reads 157.3 mb.  According to the radio, the temperature at the surface is 10oC.  How cold will the plane get assuming they can’t get the heating system working and they stay at the same altitude?

11-17. The presence of oxygen in air decreases to a level below normal human tolerance at about 600 mb.  Climbers who climb to altitudes with air pressure at or lower than 600 mb must bring along oxygen masks and pressurized oxygen tanks or they risk deadly anoxia.  Below is a list of mountains and their altitudes above sea level.  Determine the air pressure at the peaks of each and state whether oxygen masks and tanks are necessary. (Attach a sheet to show your work.)

Mountain                                                                     Altitude               Air Pressure?                   Needed?    
Mt. Kilimanjaro (Highest in Africa)                           5895 meters        __________                     _______

Mt. Rushmore (SD monument to U.S. Presidents)    1745 meters        __________                     _______

Mt. McKinley (Highest in North America)                6194 meters        __________                     _______

Mt. Fuji (Highest in Japan)                                         3776 meters        __________                     _______

Mt. Vesuvius (Famous for Pompeii eruption)             1277 meters        __________                     _______

Mt. Everest (Highest in the world)                              8848 meters        __________                     _______

Eagle Mt. (Highest in Minnesota)                                 701 meters        __________                     _______

  Humidity Quiz 

Directions: Print out and answer 30 of the following questions from your notes, lab, classroom demonstrations, and readings.  You will have until the end of the class period to complete this quiz.  You may use your notes and access your readings.

1. Most of the water vapor in the atmosphere is contained within the first ________________________ feet or so above the earth's surface.

2. A measure of the actual amount of water vapor in the air, regardless of the air's temperature.
 (Expressed as grams of water vapor per cubic meter volume of air): __________________________________________

3. A measure of the actual amount of water vapor in the air compared to the total amount of vapor that can exist in the air at its current temperature: ___________________________________________

4. If air contains all of the water vapor that it can hold it is said to be _________________________.

5. The maximum amount of water that one cubic metre of water can hold at a certain temperature is its: 

6. The capacity of a cubic meter of air at 22oC is: ___________________________________

7. The temperature at which air can no longer hold water: _______________________________

8. The capacity of the air at dew point is equal to its ______________________ humidity.

9. What is the absolute humidity if the dew point is 10oC?

10. What is the relative humidity if the air temperature is 25oC and the dew point is 16oC?

11. As the humidity rises, hair _________________, as it decreases, hair _____________________.

12. An instrument that uses hair to measure humidity is known as a _______________________.  This instrument is easy to use and inexpensive, but needs frequent calibration or it can become very inacurate over time.

13. An instrument that consists of two glass thermometers, one to measure the air temperature and the other to measure evaporative cooling is called a ____________________________________.

14. Our bodies dissipate heat by 
    a) varying the rate and depth of blood circulation, 
    b) losing water through the skin and sweat glands, and, 
    c) as the last extremity is reached, by ______________________. 

15. Sweating, by itself, does nothing to cool the body, unless the water is removed by _________________________.

16. Exposure to full sunshine can increase heat index values by up to ____________________.

17. According to the Heat Index, what would the temperature in the shade feel like if the Relative Humidity was 60% and the air temperature was 90oF?

18. According to the Heat Index, what would the temperature in the shade feel like if the Relative Humidity was 50% and the air temperature was 100oF?

19. According to the Heat Index, what would the temperature in the shade feel like if the Relative Humidity was 90% and the air temperature was 90oF?

20.According to the NWS, at what Apparent Temperature is Heat/Sunstroke HIGHLY LIKELY with continued exposure?

21. The evaporation of water from plants through stomata is called:_____________________________

22. The process whereby water vapor in the atmosphere is returned to its original liquid state is called:___________________________________

23. Of the transpired water passing through a plant, what percentage is used in the growth process of the plant?

24. Of the transpired water passing through a plant, what percentage is passed into the atmosphere?

25. What two processes allow condensation particles to grow large enough to fall to the earth?

26-27. The law of conservation of energy says that energy cannot be created or ______________________, but it can change ______________.

28. When water molecules slow down enough to change from vapor to liquid what form of energy does their kinetic energy change into? 

29 What supplies most of the energy needed for rain showers, thunderstorms, and even hurricanes?

30-31. The three necessary ingredients for cloud formation are:

    A) _________________________

    B) Rising, expanding, cooling air (Adiabatic cooling)

    C) _________________________

32. One example of condensation nuclei is: _____________________________

33. The distance a wind travels over an open water surface is known as its: ___________________

34. Identify one of the three places in the world that lake effect snow storms occur: 

35. What results from the intense transfer of moisture from warm water to much colder air?

Stability and Precipitation: Reading Worksheet

Directions: Print this sheet out and complete it to accompany your reading on Stability and Precipitation.

1. What do unstable days produce? ______________________

2. Stable air sinks.  Unstable air ___________________.

3. Stable air is the same temperature or _________________ than the surrounding air.

4. Unstable air is __________________ than the surrounding air.

5. What is needed for thunderstorms to grow? ______________________

6. Humidity condenses to form ________________________ and _________________.

7. Humidity makes the air unstable because of the release of: ______________.

Identify the correct type of precipitation:

8. ________________________ Light showers of snow that do not cover large areas and do not fall steadily for long periods of time.

9. ________________________ Drops of rain or drizzle that freeze into ice as they fall.

10. ________________________ Falling drops of water larger than 0.02 inch in diameter.

11. ________________________ A rain or snow shower in which there is lightning.

12. ________________________ Falling drops of water smaller than 0.02 inch in diameter.

13. ________________________ Rain falling at the rate of 0.11 to 0.30 inch an hour.

14. ________________________ Rain that falls intermittently over a small area.

15. ________________________ Falling balls of ice that have become too heavy for updrafts to continue to support them.

Wind Chill

Directions: Copy and paste the worksheet found at the end of the reading into a wordprocessing document.  Read and answer the questions using the chart, reading, and graph. Print your work and turn it in with your name, period and the date on it.

The Wind Chill Factor 
Adapted from USA TODAY

Wind chill is an important factor that many outdoor enthusiasts fail to take into consideration before departing on an extended winter expedition.  With dog mushers in Alaska, the general rule of thumb is at -30 degrees with a 30 mph wind, your flesh will freeze in 30 seconds. If that doesn't get your attention, then you've never been really cold. 

Cold weather is stimulating to some while others avoid it like the plague. For the serious outdoor enthusiast it's just another part of what you have to deal with when you plan a trip or outing. Unfortunately, not everyone realizes the seriousness of the wind chill during extended exposure. In extreme conditions, even a quick sprint to the mailbox can mean frost bite if your skin is not properly protected.

The “Wind Chill Factor” is described as a "feels-like number." It is based on the fact that wind carries heat away from the body, causing the body to cool more quickly. Wind chills are designed to indicate the dangers of different combinations of wind and temperature on the bodies of humans and animals.  

The Problem
Theoretically, the wind chill index is supposed to measure the rate at which the body loses heat when exposed to cold and wind. This index was created as a public health tool to reduce hypothermia, frostbite and other cold-related ailments.  As a practical matter, the wind chill index is supposed to tell people how warmly to dress, a crucial decision for people who spend long periods outdoors such as construction workers or skiers.  But scientists say the wind chill index is at best a rough estimate. It doesn’t take into account big differences between heat loss in the sun and heat loss in the shade, for example.

The term "wind chill" goes back to the Antarctic explorer Paul Siple, who coined it a 1939 dissertation, "Adaptation of the Explorer to the Climate of Antarctica." During the 1940s, Siple and Charles Passel conducted experiments on the time needed to freeze water in a plastic cylinder that was exposed to the elements. They found that the time depended on how warm the water was, the outside temperature and the wind speed. The original formula used to calculate wind chill was based on those experiments.   But human skin freezes at a different rate than water. Even different parts of the body – the face versus the hands, for example – freeze at different rates. 

A few years ago mechanical engineer Maurice Bluestein went outside to shovel snow on a bitterly cold day, a -25 degree temperature and a -65 degree wind chill factor.  While standing in the driveway, Bluestein noticed that his exposed skin wasn’t freezing in 15 seconds, as it should have if the wind and the cold were the equivalent of –65 degrees.  The wind chill index used by the National Weather Service from 1973-2001 significantly over-stated how cold it feels when the wind blows.  Bluestein and his colleague, Jack Zecher, went on to devise a new wind chill formula that would  make use of a more accurate estimate of "the thermal properties of the skin" and "modern heat transfer theory."  Bluestein admits he’s no weather expert but, as a mechanical engineer, he does know a lot about heat transfer.   "It didn’t take me long to realize it wasn’t as cold as the chart claimed it was," says Bluestein, a professor at Purdue University-Indiana University in Indianapolis.

A Revamped Wind Chill 
In the fall of 2001 the National Weather Service, finally began using a revised wind chill formula based on the one created by Bluestein, as well as other models created by half a dozen other researchers rather than equations based on 1940s experiments.  In addition, wind speeds used in the new formula are from winds 5 feet above the ground. The wind at 5 feet is about one-third the speed of wind at 33 feet, where official wind speeds used to be measured.  

The new formula in its final form was developed by representatives of seven government agencies, including the U.S. National Weather Service, the Canadian weather service and university scientists after testing in a chilled wind tunnel at Canada's Defence Civil Institute of Environmental Medicine in Toronto. In the experiment, faces of several men and women were exposed to various temperatures and winds. The researchers measured how fast the temperatures of the exposed skin dropped to devise the new formula. 

The new wind chills aren't nearly as scary-sounding as the old ones. For example, at 5 degrees with a 30-mph wind, the old formula determined a wind chill of minus 40 degrees. The new formulas says the chill would be minus 19 degrees. 

"This information will help people make sound decisions about how to dress for the weather," Weather service Director Jack Kelly said in a statement. "Exposure to cold, biting air for long periods of time is dangerous," Kelly said. "Our main goal was to use modern science in revising the index so that it's more accurate and makes the human impact more prominent." 

Despite its improved accuracy, one forecaster fears that the public may not immediately embrace the new wind chill formula.   "It sounds like they're factoring in things that actually affect the human body, important factors that are more realistic," said CNN meteorologist Jill Brown. "But everybody hates change, and some people are not going to like it."   Brown also said that people in colder climates will have to adjust themselves mentally to the newly calibrated temperatures.  "You'll have to kind of recalculate your feeling of how cold it actually is out there," she said, "I think for everyone it's going to be a little bit confusing -- not that it's a bad thing. It's probably an improvement, but it's going to take a while to get used to a new standard." 

Some odds and ends related to wind chill:

Cold-related Ailments
Hypothermia  results when body temperature falls below 95oF.  Symptoms include drowsiness, impaired coordination and weakness. It can also be fatal.

Frostbite  is the result of skin freezing. It causes swelling, redness, tingling and burning. Skin turns white and waxy as the frostbite progresses. Loss of extremities and infection can result. 

Frostnip  is a condition where ice crystals form under the skin. 

Chilblains  occur when bare skin is exposed to cold water, or when wet skin cools. The skin itches and swells. Chilblains can lead to gangrene.

Freeze Tolerance
The wood frog (Rana sylvatica) has what's called freeze toleranceIn winter, the wood frog hibernates on land, usually with their only shelter being a pile of leaves. Because this leaves it exposed to the cold, frost penetrates their skin and they freeze. Ice forms around its internal organs. Its blood stops flowing. Breathing stops. The heart stops beating and muscles stop moving. The wood frog's body functions return to normal when it thaws.

Briskly Walking Naked
The following passage is word for word from a National Center for Atmospheric Research document on windchill published when the original wind chill formula was first adopted:  "The wind is blowing at 20 mph and the temperature is 20 deg F. If I were out naked, how would this make me feel? The answer (from the formula!) is that you'd feel like you were naked, and walking briskly through calm air at approximately -11 deg F. You might also feel pretty silly for having forgotten your coat and pants! The goal of the windchill temperature is to relate (perhaps extreme) conditions to something we have all likely experienced, namely: briskly walking naked through calm air at certain carefully calibrated temperatures! [If naked, would you walk anything but briskly?]." 

Name; __________________________________ Date;______  Period: ______

Wind Chill Factor 
Reading Worksheet

1. Wind chill is the rate at which...

2. Who coined the term “wind chill”?

3. Describe the 1940’s experiments that yeilded the original wind chill formula.

4. What was one problem with those original experiments when it comes to applying them to human skin?

5. During what time period did the National Weather Service use the original wind chill formula?

6. What was the name of the Purdue University professor that devised a new wind chill formula?

7. What two things did he take into account that allows his formula to be a more accurate?

8. When was the new formula put into place by the National Weather Service?

9. The new formula uses wind speeds at 5 feet, Where were earlier wind speed measurements taken?

10. How much slower are winds at 5 feet?

11. How was the new formula tested?

12. Name and describe one cold related ailment:

13. What property does Rana sylvatica have that allows it to freeze solid and then return to normal when it thaws?

14. If naked, would you walk anything but briskly? (Just a little joke from the NWS!)

15. Using the NWS Windchill Chart at the top of the page, determine what the wind chill factor would be on a day when it is -30oF and the wind is blowing 15mph:

16. Using the chart, determine what the wind chill factor would be on a day when it is 0oF and the wind is blowing 55mph:

17. Using the chart, determine how fast you would get frostbite if the wind chill was -69oF:

18. Using the chart, determine how fast you would get frostbite if the wind chill was -19oF:

19. Using the Wind Chill Temperature Comparison graph at the end of the reading determine what the wind chill reading would have been using the old formula if the wind were blowing 25 mph and the air temperature was 5oF:

20. How many degrees different is the wind chill reading using the new formula compared to the old formula if the wind were blowing 25 mph and the air temperature was 5oF?

21-22. Use the wind chill formula found on the bottom of the wind chill chart at the top of the page to answer this question:  If you were in the northern tundra and the wind were blowing 65 mph and the air temperature was -50oF, what would the wind chill factor be (where T = air temperature and V = wind speed)?

:  Wind Energy Web Quest  :

General Directions: copy and paste the following activities into a word processing document or e-mail.  Complete all three activities.  Print your document and turn it in or e-mail it

Directions: After reading from the web page titled “Quick facts about wind energy,” which is located at the URL, answer the following questions. 
1. How tall are home-sized wind turbines?  

2. How tall are the largest wind turbines?  

3. What is the connection between size of machine and power produced?  
4. What are the major advantages of wind power over conventional energy generation?  
5. Specify major limitations or weaknesses, both economic and environmental, to wind power.  
6. What happens to excess electricity generated by homeowners?  
Directions: Use the internet to determine the answers to the following true or false questions.  Write the url (http address) of the web site that you have found to determine your answer underneath each question.
1._________Wind power is safe, clean, and we’ll never run out of it.

2._________One GE Wind Energy 1.5 megawatt wind turbine can produce enough electricity to supply the annual electricity needs of about 400 homes. 

3._________Wind is created by the phases of the moon. 

4._________The Beaufort wind scale uses observations of everyday things to determine wind speed. 

5._________Windmills have been used for many things, including grinding flour and pumping water. 

6._________Rembrandt, the famous artist, was the son of a windmiller. 

7._________A wind turbine uses the power of the wind to produce nuclear energy. 

8._________A wind farm is a place where pinwheels are planted and grow up to be wind turbines. 

9._________Steady, consistent wind is necessary for a good wind farm site. 

10.________Carbon dioxide is the primary “greenhouse gas” that contributes to global warming. 

11.________The nacelle on a wind turbine is another name for the tower. 

12.________Wind is actually a form of solar energy. 

13.________For thousands of years, people have harnessed the power of the wind.

Directions: Refer to the DOE web page titled "Wind Energy Resource Atlas of the United States" at the URL to answer the following questions. 
1. Using the key on Map 2-1 or 2-6, what is the average wind speed of a power class 3 site in m/s?

Looking at Map 2-1 or 2-6, what state appears to have the most wind power potential in 
terms of class 4 or above sites across the entire state? 

Looking at Map 2-1 or 2-6, what region of the United States has the most likely wind power source?  What is the highest power class in this region?
4. Now locate Minnesota under the regional summaries and look at it’s wind classification on the state map. What % of the state appears to be categorized as class 3?  
What % of the state appears to be categorized as class 4?  What % of the state appears to be categorized as class 5 or above?

5. If you operated an energy services company, where would you site a wind power turbine in the state of Minnesota? Why? (Think of both potential and proximity to population.)

6. Choose the state you selected for question #2 or one of the states you selected for question #3.  
What % of the state appears to be categorized as class 3?  What % of the state appears to be categorized as class 4?  What % of the state appears to be categorized as class 5 or above?

7. Based on seasonal variations on Maps 2-2, 2-3, 2-4 and 2-5 (or 2-12, 2-13, 2-14 and 2-15), what season appears to be best in terms of wind energy generation?  What season appears to be worst in wind energy generation?  
Now use the above information to answer the following questions:  
8. Does the United States appear to have good potential for wind energy generation?
9. Why do you think there are not more wind power projects in the United States at this time?  

10. In your opinion, what could be done to meet the DOE's goal of 20%of all electrical generation produced by wind power?  (ie. What would make wind power more attractive?

NAME: __________________________________________

Directions: Print this page and answer the following questions as you read the first EIGHT reading assignments.

1. What is the average number of thunderstorms per year in Central Minnesota?  Orlando, Florida?  Seattle, Washington? 

2. Where does the warm moist air come from to fuel Florida thunderstorms?

3. What three ingredients do all thunderstorms require for their formation?

4. Where is the amount of ocean water evaporation into the atmosphere higher,  in warm ocean currents or cold ocean currents?

5. When is air considered unstable?

6-10. Identify five sources of lift for a thunderstorm:

11. What do meteorologists call the boundary between an air mass of warm moist air and an air mass of hot dry air?

12. Which source of lift is generated by another thunderstorm?

13. What critical phenomenon occurs when falling graupel collides with rising water droplets and ice particles? 

14. Where do positive electrical charges concentrate in a cloud?

15. What do meteorologists call the channel of negative charge that descends from the bottom of the storm toward the ground?

16. What is the first stage in thunderstorm development?

17. How high (deep) does a mature storm often reach?

18. What happens to cause a thunderstorm to reach the dissipating stage? (Hint: don’t miss the first sentence.)

19. What is another name for an ordinary cell thunderstorm?

20. “Training echoes” would be radar indications of what type of storm?

21. Which type of thunderstorms are most likely to produce “straight line winds”?

22. What type of low hanging cloud appears along the leading edge of the squall line?

23. What type of thunderstorms are responsible for nearly all of the significant tornadoes produced in the U.S.?

24. Why does a supercell thunderstorm have a striated or corkscrew appearance?

25. What type of cloud is isolated below the rain-free base of a supercell and is sometimes a precursor to a tornado?

26. What do meteorologists call precipitation that is formed when updrafts in thunderstorms carry raindrops upward into extremely cold areas of the atmosphere?

27-28. Which states have the most “hail storms”? Why?

29. Which type of hailstone growth occurs when the air temperature is well below freezing and air bubbles are "frozen" in place?

30. Hail can be predicated when a radar signature appears indicating an apparently rain free region of a thunderstorm which is bounded on one side and above by very intense precipitation.  What acronym is used to identify ths area?

31. What happens when hailstones can no longer be supported by a storm’s updraft?

32. When are downdrafts generated?

33. Define "precipitation drag"

34-35. What can create hazardous conditions for planes? Why?


36. What is the difference between an microburst and a macroburst?

37. Which type of downburst usually occur at night and are associated with decaying thunderstorms?

38. What shape would a band of thunderstorms take to be associated with derechos?

39. What direction does a tornado rotate in the northern hemisphere?

40. What country experiences more tornadoes by far than any other?

41. When is the peak of the tornado season?

42-45. In an average year between 1953 and 2004, how many tornadoes occurred in Minnesota? Hawaii?  Texas?  Oklahoma?

46. What is the classic appearance of a mesocyclone within a supercell as seen by radar?

47. What makes a descending funnel cloud visible?

48. Who originally developed the Fujita (F) Scale? What is it intended to estimate?

49-50. What is the wind speed range (in MPH) of an EF2 Tornado?  EF4?


Temperature Conversions

Directions: Print the following worksheet and write or calculate your answers.  You will need a calculator for this assignment.  To find current temperatures around the country, use this link to USA TODAY Newspaper.

Temperature Scales and Conversions 
       Name: ___________________________  Period:_____ Date: _______

The two temperature scales most often used in the world today to record daily outdoor temperatures are the Fahrenheit temperature scale (used chiefly in the United States) and the Celsius temperature scale (used almost everywhere else). 

Two benchmark temperatures on these scales are the boiling point and freezing point of water.  On the Fahrenheit scale, the boiling point is 212 degrees, the freezing point 32 degrees.  On the Celsius scale, the boiling point is 100 degrees, the freezing point is 0 degrees (a little easier to remember). From these two data points, it is easy to see that the Fahrenheit scale changes 180 total degrees between freezing and boiling, while the Celsius scale changes only 100 degrees.  For every 9 degrees change in the Fahrenheit scale, the Celsius scale changes 5 degrees.  

To convert from one scale to the other, the following formulas can be used: 

        Tc = 5/9 (Tf - 32)         -or-         Tf = Tc • 9/5 + 32

         Where Tc is the temperature in oC and Tf is the temperature in oF

Complete the table below using the formulas.  Show your work.  Round off to the nearest whole degree. Label. 
    Celsius           Fahrenheit            Work

1.     0o                 ________

2.     ________        40o

3.     16o               ________

4.     ________        75o

5.     100o             ________

6.     ________        98.6o

7.     -40             ________

8.     ________        0o

Discussion Questions:  Based on the table above, answer the following: 
9) At what temperature (in oC) would it have to be outside before you wore a winter coat?  Why? 

10) At what temperature (in oC) would you want it to be outside before you went swimming?  Why? 

11) If it is 25oC outside, how would you describe the temperature -  Hot, warm, cool, or cold?  Why? 

12) If it is 8oC outside, how would you describe the temperature -  Hot, warm, cool, or cold?  Why? 

Now, using Current Data from the USA TODAY Newspaper and showing your work, record the high temperatures from each of the following cities in oF and convert them into oC:

13) Cedar Rapids, IA  

14) Thunder Bay, ONT, Canada

15) Minneapolis, MN 

16) Washington, DC  

17) Las Vegas, NV

18) Atlanta, Georgia 

19) St. Louis, MO 

20) Yakima, WA

Make a Free Website with Yola.