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 3
Explain general weather patterns and predict storms.

Benchmark Clarification

Middle school focuses on measuring weather parameters (wind direction and speed, temperature, cloud cover, dew point, etc.) and discovering patterns. High school advances these concepts and explains the causes of weather phenomena.

Storms are related to rapidly rising air that is common along fronts but also occurs in other circumstances.

Students will:

  • Explain air movements associated with fronts and pressure systems
  • Explain that warm and cold fronts are part of larger air circulations
  • Explain the relationship between weather variables and frontal speed to the degree of storminess

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

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 3/High School/Benchmark 3
Key Concept
Weather patterns:

  • cold front
  • warm front
  • stationary front
  • air mass
  • high and low pressure systems

See Buoyancy/Density (SCI.IV.1.MS.1).

See Thermal expansion (SCI.IV.2.MS.1).

See Satellite and radar monitoring (SCI.IV.4.HS.4).

Storms:

  • thunderstorms
    • lightning
    • thunder
  • tornadoes
  • hurricanes
  • high winds and wind chill
  • blizzards

Tools:

  • weather maps
  • thermometer
  • hygrometer
  • anemometer
  • wind vane
  • rain gauge
  • satellite and radar monitoring

 

Science/Strand V/Content Standard 3/High School/Benchmark 3
Real World Context
Observable daily weather patterns:

  • examples of weather reports from:
    • tv
    • radio
    • newspapers
    • world wide web
  • representations on weather maps

Reports of local weather patterns influenced by the jet stream and prevailing winds

 

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

Benchmark Question: How can weather and storms be explained using common features found on a weather map?

Focus Question: How does the location of “tornado alley” migrate during spring and summer months in North America?

The teacher should review the prior knowledge concepts of cold fronts, especially the rapid rising warm air at the leading edge of advancing colder air as a major cause of severe storms that could develop into tornadoes. The teacher should also discuss how variations in temperature, humidity, and mountain ranges orientations impact the frequency of tornadoeson each continent.

Students will work in pairs and use monthly tornado frequency maps to identify changes in the position of maximum tornado occurrence.

Students will observe average monthly temperature maps in the United States and note that the temperature gradient (change) is greater in the winter than it is in the summer. For example, the average monthly temperature of two selected cities (for example, Detroit and Dallas) could be compared during the year. Each student will explain the migration of tornado alley in a paragraph.. In a paragraph, each student will explain that mountain ranges and their orientations have a definite effect on the frequency of tornadoes on each continent.

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

Reflecting: (SCI.II.1.HS.4).

 

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

Students should be grouped by continents and will view a world map showing major landforms. Each group will prepare a short speech explaining why there are fewer tornadoes on other continents than on the Great Plains of North America.

(Give students rubric before activity.)

Scoring Rubric

Criteria

Apprentice

Basic

Meets

Exceeds

Accuracy of interpretation

Provides inadequate interpretation of the effect of east/west blocking mountains, suitable air mass source regions, movements of air masses, and degree of difference in air masses.

Provides basic interpretations of the effect of east/west blocking mountains, suitable air mass source regions, movements of air masses, and degree of difference in air masses.

Provides good interpretations of the effect of east/west blocking mountains, suitable air mass source regions, movements of air masses, and degree of difference in air masses.

Provides a thorough and accurate interpretation of the effect of east/west blocking mountains, suitable air mass source regions, movements of air masses, and degree of difference in air masses.

 

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

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

National Severe Storms Laboratory: access current research efforts with Radar, Satellite, Software Development, Modeling, Tornadoes, Thunderstorms, Damaging Winds, Lightning, Hail,Winter Weather, Flooding.
http://www.nssl.noaa.gov/

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

Michigan Forecast Center.
http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dtx/start.htm

Tornado Alley.
http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/(Gh)/guides/mtr/home.rxml

University of Michigan weather.
http://groundhog.sprl.umich.edu/