Severe Weather Activities

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Traditional Aboriginal Knowledge

Severe Weather Activities

© 2002 American Geological Institute

Contents: All Activities and Investigations
Activity 1
Activity 2
Activity 3
Activity 4
Activity 5
Activity 6

Students are challenged to evaluate the potential for severe weather in their community in order to help an entertainment company decide whether or not to build an arena with a retractable roof in the area.
Students will:
Activity 1  -- What Conditions Create Thunderstorms?
To learn more about this topic, visit the following web sites: 1. How and Why Warm Air Rises
  • "What Causes the Weather?" - 

  • Article reviews the basics behind the causes of weather, focusing on the uneven heating of the Earth and the Earth's rotation.  Also reviews the first law of equilibrium, which explains the physics of why warm air rises.
  • "Stability and Cloud Development" - National Severe Storms Laboratory - NOAA  

  • This page briefly reviews the mechanisms that cause air to rise.  Includes a graphic that illustrates convective uplift, orographic uplift, frontal wedging, and convergence.
  • "What's an Air Mass?" - Rice University's Glacier page 

  • This site reviews the source regions of air masses in the United States, the formation of warm and cold fronts, and atmospheric pressure.  Includes color graphics.

    2.  Development of a Thunderstorm
  • "The Thunderstorm" - National Weather Service - NOAA 

  • Defines and gives facts on thunderstorms, explains the conditions necessary for thunderstorm development, the stages of a thunderstorm, and types of thunderstorms.
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    Activity 2  --  A Thunderstorm Matures Back to top
    Activity 3  --  Tracking Thunderstorm Movement Through Radar
    To learn more about this topic:
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    Activity 4  --  Severe Weather Hazards: Flash Floods Back to top
    Activity 5  --  Lightning and Thunder Back to top
    Activity 6  --  Severe Winds and Tornadoes Back to top
    Web Sites:
    Maps: Videos: Books: Magazines: