PREDICTING THE WEATHER
Many today consider the old sayings about how the weather will be as myth. Consider for a moment, how long we have had modern weather predicting devices. Before farmers had the weather channel, they had to figure out when to plant and when to harvest. Sailors needed to know if they were headed for a storm. Travelers needed to know when to look for shelter. They did it by looking towards the sky for natural signs which are a result of scientific factors like atmospheric pressure and the moisture content.
LOW AIR PRESSURE – When the atmospheric pressure is decreasing bad weather is headed your way. Using an altimeter while staying at the same contour allows you to see if it is changing. If you don’t’ have one handy watch the insects and birds. If they are flying low to the ground it is a good sign the pressure is dropping.
STILL AIR – When air has been still for a long time, a frontal system may be bringing bad weather. If you have even been outside before a snow storm, you will know what I mean. It just seems a bit TOO calm.
CARONA – When there is a ring around the sun or moon bad weather should arrive within 12 to 24 hours. The ring is a result of tiny ice particles high in a cirrus cloud that are bending the light to form the ring.
OLD SAYINGS – Expressions were used to teach people how to predict the weather. We all remember nursery rhymes for the same reason.
Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky at morning, sailor’s take warning. This is a pretty accurate prediction as long as the prevailing winds are westerly.
Another old saying which deals with low pressure regions goes like this.
When the wind is blowing in the North
No fisherman should set forth,
When the wind is blowing in the East,
‘Tis not fit for man nor beast,
When the wind is blowing in the South
It brings the food over the fish’s mouth,
When the wind is blowing in the West,
That is when the fishing’s best!
While a high pressure area might say
No weather is ill, if the wind be still.
A carona is explained by
When halo rings the moon or sun, rain’s approaching on the run
While a seagull sitting on the sand indicates windy seas.
Moisture causes wood to swell resulting in the following problem.
When windows won’t open, and the salt clogs the shaker,
The weather will favour the umbrella maker!
Did you know cows prefer to have the wind blowing int heir face? Knowing the direction of the wind predicts storms.
A cow with its tail to the West makes the weather best,
A cow with its tail to the East makes the weather least
For air to be cool enough in the summer to produce fog the next day should be clear.
A summer fog for fair,
A winter fog for rain.
A fact most everywhere,
In valley or on plain.
This saying is true in the summer months, but not int he winter.
When sounds travel far and wide,
A stormy day will betide.
And some sayings are pure myths.
If clouds move against the wind, rain will follow. or
Cats and dogs eat grass before a rain.
Modern studies have shown a correlation to our bodies and the weather so don’t discount your Great Aunt Bea when she says her back says a storm is coming.
A coming storm your shooting corns presage,
And aches will throb, your hollow tooth will rage.
CIRRUS CIRROCUMULUS – Whispy clouds that are high in the sky often occur in good weather. As they gather together and thicken bad weather is coming witin 24 to 48 hours.
CUMULONIMBUS – when whispy cumulus clouds darken as they grow vertically forming an anvil shape rain is likely to occur. You can often see these clouds in the distance in flat land areas.
CUMULUS – thin and white, they look like cotton balls. When there has been little vertical growth, fair weather can be expected.
STRATUS CLOUDS – Shallow, long and gray, clouds bring drizzly gray weather and are usually close to ground. This is bad weather for hikers and campers as the rain usually sticks around for several days.
1. Use cotton balls to form various clouds on a piece of paper. Integrate it into regular craft projects such as a hand print Mayflower.
2. Make a rain gauge.
1 Place a ping pong ball on the table or floor. Girls must blow through a straw to get the ball to cross the finish line.
2. Blow up a balloon and place it on the ground. Girls must use a fan to push it across the finish line. TO make it even harder, create a course the balloon must follow.
1. Forecast the weather by sight.
2. Boil water and then pour into a jar and close the lid tight. You will see condensation forming on the jar similar to the way water evaporates to form clouds.
3. Use a microscope to look at snowflakes.
4. Create layers of substrate. (dirt, sand and rock layers in a 2 liter bottle) Sprinkle a little water on the topsoil and see what happens. Slowly increase the amount of water until the soil cannot absorb it anymore and you have a flood. How long does it take to finally be absorbed? What does this tell you about flooding?
5. Keep a weather log: Read the newspaper for/watch weather channel a week. Was either one accurate? With what you have learned about watching for the weather, predict what you think will happen and what does happen. Which method was the most accurate?
6. Use an altimeter. Don’t have one? There is an app for it.
7. Get various fabrics wet and see how long it takes each of them to dry.
8. Cover your hand with a fabric and grab a piece of ice. Does your hand get cold or wet?
9. Have a clothing judging contest. Lay various fabrics on the table and girls have to write down the name of the fabric, what it is good and bad for and what items of clothing ti should be used for.
10. Bring in a bunch of clothes and have the girls figure out what to wear for a given weather scenario. Do a fashion show at the end.
11. Create your own lightning by making static electricity.
12. Make a tornado from soda bottles, you only need to buy a connector.
13. make lightning.
14. Make a barometer.
15. Make a cloud.
16. What can air pressure do?
17. Show conduction.
18. Make convection currents.
19. Show the water cycle.
20. What does lower air pressure do by sucking an egg into a bottle.
1. Visit a local television station and talk to the meteorologist or have her come to a meeting.
2. If it is a cloudy day, lay outside and see what shapes you can find in the clouds.
3. After a good thunderstorm, go outside and use your senses. What do you see, smell and hear?
4. Enjoy the weather! Go skiing, snow shoeing, sledding, have a snowman contest, go swimming or fishing.
5. Go fly a kits.
1. What would you do in a weather emergency?
2. What common injuries occur due to bad weather? How would you treat them?
1. How does the weather affect people where you live? How has it recently affected others around the country? Can you do a service project for them?
2. How does the weather effect insects, animals and plants? For example, a cold winter means fewer mosquitoes in the spring but it also means animals may be hungry and come into the suburbs looking for food. What animals sense when an earthquake is coming?
3. How do you prevent frostbite? This chart not only provides temperatures based on windchill, it tells you how long it takes to develop frostbite.
4. How do you dress for different types of weather?
5. How much water should you have when it is hot?
6. How does weather effect needy families and the homeless?
7. Know what CLOTHES you need to be wearing.
1. Do a coat drive.
2. Do a blanket/sock/shoe/coat drive for the homeless.
3. Work in a soup kitchen.
4. Help Girl Scouts in an area where there was a weather emergency such as a flood.
These are possible badges that activities regarding weather could be applied to. Which one works best for you will depend on the activity you decide to do.
Friendly and Helpful
Responsible for What I say and Do
Three Cheers for Animals Journey
Get Moving Journey
Voice for Animals
Sow What Journey