Science
Strand V
Use Scientific Knowledge from the Earth and Space Sciences in Real-World Contexts

 

Science/Strand V
Content Standard 3
All students will investigate and describe what makes up weather and how it changes from day to day, from season to season, and over long periods of time; explain what causes different kinds of weather; and analyze the relationships between human activities and the atmosphere. (Atmosphere and Weather)

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 3
High School

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 3/High School
Benchmark 2
Describe patterns of air movement in the atmosphere and how they affect weather conditions.

Benchmark Clarification

Patterns of air movement in the atmosphere affect weather conditions. Air motion is caused by differences in pressure, density, and temperature.

When air moves vertically, clouds may result.

Horizontal motion of air (wind) is altered by the rotation of the Earth/Coriolis Effect. Fronts are often areas of storminess caused by the interaction of air masses. Surface weather patterns are guided by the jet stream (an upper level wind moving across the U.S. from west to east).

Students will:

  • Explain how changes in the weather result from the movement of air masses

Key Concept / Real World Context / Instructional Example / Assessment Example / Resources

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 3/High School/Benchmark 2
Key Concept
Air movement:

  • air masses
  • fronts
  • pressure systems
  • prevailing winds
  • jet stream

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 3/High School/Benchmark 2
Real World Context
Reports of local weather patterns influenced by:

  • jet stream
  • prevailing winds

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 3/High School/Benchmark 2
Instructional Example

Benchmark Question: How do horizontal motions of the air vary and contribute to the type of weather ?

Focus Question: How does the wind direction vary in your community?

The teacher will review with students that winds are named according to the direction from which they come. A north wind, for example, comes from the north!

Students will work with a partner and use a packet of wind data from the weather service to plot the data on a frequency graph e.g., a wind rose diagram to determine the general pattern.

Students will use weather map data from newspapers, the internet, or the weather channel to determine which direction large weather systems generally move across the United States.

In a paragraph, each student will explain how local wind data is related to the motion of large weather systems across the United States.

Constructing: (SCI.I.1HS.3), (SCI.I.1.HS.4).

Reflecting: (SCI.II.1.HS.1), (SCI.II.1HS.3).

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 3/High School/Benchmark 2
Assessment Example

The teacher will present the following scenario to the class:

A group of meteorology students has already completed a study in which they compare the wind direction and temperature of many cities before and after a cold front passes. They wish to display their wind direction data on a wind rose diagram.

Each student will draw a likely wind rose diagram for all of those cities before the front passes and after the front passes. Each student will write a prediction of what changes in temperature might be expected due to a change in wind direction caused by the passage of the front.

Criteria

Apprentice

Basic

Meets

Exceeds

Identification of wind direction before and after the front

Identifies change in wind direction with an incorrect compass direction(s).

Identifies wind direction before or after front passage.

Identifies wind direction before (S-SW) and after (NW-N) front passage.

Identifies wind direction before (S-SW) and after (NW-N) front passage.

Drawing of wind rose diagram before and after the front passes

Names compass direction.

Names compass direction and identifies wind direction.

Names compass direction and identifies wind direction and wind duration.

Names compass direction, identifies wind direction and duration, and explains effect of frontal speed on wind duration.

Accuracy of predictions

Associates either change in wind or change in temperature with frontal passage.

Associates change in wind direction with temperature change (incorrect association).

Associates change in wind direction with changes in temperature (S-SW = warmer, N-NW = cooler).

Associates change in the wind direction with changes in temperature and explains how speed of frontal movement alters changes in wind direction and temperature.

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 3/High School/Benchmark 2
Resources

Webliography.
http://mtn.merit.edu/mcf/SCI.V.3.HS.2.html

Michigan Weather Conditions: most current weather reports and forecasts from Michigan's weather stations.
http://www.wunderground.com/forecasts/MI.html

Surface Weather Map from Intellicast-see the location of pressure zones, fronts, precipitation, and isobars.
http://www.intellicast.com/LocalWeather/World/UnitedStates/SurfaceAnalysis/

U.S. Wind Statistics: where is the wind, on average blowing hardest in the U.S.? What is the mean direction? Find out here.
http://www.ems.psu.edu/wx/usstats/windstats.html

The Wind Air in Motion: succinct primer on the causes and characteristics of wind.
http://www.intellicast.com/DrDewpoint/wx101/1099Wind/

Coriolis Force:animation and explanation of the Coriolis force.
http://www.windpower.dk/tour/wres/coriolis.htm

U.S. Pressure Statistics: discover the highest and lowest atmospheric pressure currently reported in the U.S.
http://www.ems.psu.edu/wx/usstats/pressstats.html

Does Weather Happen Randomly?
http://www.coollessons.org/Weathr20.htm

Convection currents.
http://www.exploratorium.edu/snacks/convection_currents.html

Nearest NOAA Weather Station for wind data.

University of Michigan Weather Underground.
http://groundhog.sprl.umich.edu/

Weather Channel.