Weather Scope
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Lesson C5: Weather and Climate
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Overview
Students will use the weather data (temperature and precipitation) that they collected in Activity 3 and read a climate report about their country / city to make distinctions and study the differences between weather and climate reports for your particular region.

Objectives
Students will:
  • describe the difference between weather and climate;
  • identify and describe the climate region for their region; &
  • graph and interpret a comparison chart.

Time
One 45 minute class period.

Materials

Teacher Preparation
  • LIMITED ACCESS: If technology resources are limited, you can access the weather web site previously and print the weather data or display the weather web site using a projector or television screen.
  • GRAPHING: Students will be creating comparison chart for this lesson. If you are new or not familiar with graphing, please review the Graphing Tips.
  • Weather related-topics:

Procedure
Part 1: Weather and Climate
Begin the activity by having a brief class discussion to review the weather variables that the students have been studying. Tell the students that, for the purpose of this lesson, they will be using precipitation and temperature data only.
  1. Ask the students to take our their Weather Learning Logs and have them answer the questions.
  2. Review the climate report sites previous to the class. If your country is not listed below, conduct an online search using the key words "YourCountry Climate Report". For class use, you can either print out sufficient copies per individual students or groups of students, send data collector students to print the pages and bring a copy back to their groups, etc.
  3. The information will vary depending on the report although students will notice that information about the climate region as well other information unique for their region is provided in the climate reports.
  4. Students should identify the climate region for their city.
  5. Answers will vary. Some answers might include that the weather report describes the weather for one day / hour while the climate report describes the trends in weather over a year. The climate reports also include detailed information about the geographic location about the region.
  6. Students should determine that they are looking at weather when they look out the window because it changes from day to day and hour to hour while the climate is the average weather in a location over a long period of time.
  7. After studying the data, students should be able to construct the concept that weather changes every day and that climate is the average weather in a location over a long period of time. One might say that climate is what weather is "normally" like in a place. The daily recording and averaging of weather information helps to describe the climate of an area.

Part 2: Climate in your Region

  1. Graph the Climate Data: Students will draw a comparison chart that displays both the average monthly temperature over one year in the form of a Line graph and average monthly precipitation over one year in the form of a Bar graph. You should remind the students that they will ONLY use the average temperature and precipitation listed. An example of the types of comparison chart produced in this activity has been constructed and is available below, however this is NOT the same data that students will use in their activity so their graph will be different from the example.
    • Sample comparison chart
    • Need help? Follow the step-by-step instructions on How to Create a Climatogram.
    • NOTE:  You can copy and paste the data directly into the document if you have access to a spreadsheet program like Excel however you will need to remove the text descriptors (i.e. șC and mm).
  2. Temperature: Answers will vary. Ask the students to answer the questions using their Student Worksheet or their Weather Learning Logs.
  3. Precipitation: Answers will vary. Ask the students to answer the questions using their Student Worksheet or their Weather Learning Logs.

Part 3: Final Conclusions
Depending on time, you can use this last section to assign students to write either a brief report or create a tourism brochure, pamphlet, etc. describing the climate for their region. Be sure to mention that students should address all of the points

Assessment Suggestions
Make each student or cooperative group responsible for their answers.

Student Activity


NOTE: The following instructions also appear in the Student Activities section of this web site.
Notebook Top Left Corner  Activity C5: Weather and Climate Notebook Top Right Corner
  Part 1: Weather and Climate
  1. Answer the following questions using the weather data that you recorded in your Weather Learning Logs from Activity 3: Track Weather like a Meteorologist.
    • Did the weather report change every day? Every hour?
    • Which day had the most precipitation? The least?
    • Which day had the highest temperature? The lowest?
  2. Select one of the climate reports below for the country in which your city is located and read the information.
    • NOAA US Climate Site  (Statistics for all states. Access monthly averages for temperature and  precipitation by clicking on "Basic Climatology").
    • World Climate (Average temperature for selected US and foreign cities).
    • Regional Climates (US climate data by section of the country)
  3. What kind of information is given in the climate description?
  4. Locate and read about the climate region for your city using the following world climate map and climate descriptions
  5. Name at least three ways how climate reports are different from a weather report.
  6. When we look out the classroom window, are we looking at climate or weather? Why?
  7. What is the difference between weather and climate?

Part 2: Climate in your Region
  1. Graph the Climate Data: In your Weather Learning Log, you are going to create a comparison chart that displays both the average monthly temperature over one year in the form of a Line graph and average monthly precipitation over one year in the form of a Bar graph. Label the axis as shown in this example. When you graph the data, use the monthly averages of the temperature and precipitation from the links below:
    (NOTE: If you have access to a spreadsheet program like Excel, you can copy and paste the data directly into the document)
  2. Temperature
    • Did the average temperature you recorded in Activity 3 fall within the range of averages for the month?
    • Which month had the highest temperature? The lowest?
    • What was the average temperature for the year?
    • How does the line graph for the annual temperature compare with the temperature line graph you made in Activity 4? Be specific.
  3. Precipitation
    • Was the total amount of precipitation you recorded during Activity 3 representative of the average for that month?
    • Which month had the most precipitation? The least?
    • What was the total precipitation for the year?
    • How does the bar graph for the annual precipitation compare with the precipitation bar graph you made in Activity 4? Be specific.

Part 3: Final Conclusions
Write a brief report or create a tourism brochure, pamphlet, etc. describing the climate for your country / region. Be sure to include the following:
  • the difference between climate and weather;
  • the common characteristics of the climate region where your city is located;
  • the average precipitation and temperatures for each month/season (you can include the graphs if you wish);
  • how each of the three factors (latitude, elevation, and local geography) influence the temperature of your country / region;
  • the "best" time of the year to visit your country and why; & and
  • the "worst" time of the year to visit your country and why.

EXTENSION
  • Compare your climate to that of another region listed above.
    • Select another city and compare and contrast the climate for your region with that of another region / city
  • Use the weather web site --> "Averages and Records" to locate a region for each of the below:
    • A city that has over 800 mm of precipitation a year.
    • A city that has less than 20 mm of precipitation a year.
    • A city that averages a temperature of below zero (-0 șC) for the year.
    • A city that averages a temperature of above 25 șC for the year.

 
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