What is the TRUTH about the polar vortex? The northern hemisphere polar vortex is an integral part of climate, especially in the winter, and weather forecasts. Concerning snowstorms, the polar vortex has a crucial role in that it often provides cold/arctic dry air to snowstorms. Its strength and exact positioning are crucial to snowstorm development, propagation, and intensity.
This activity allows students of multiple levels to address more advances meteorological skills. Prompts may be written by hand, cut/paste, or Velcro and laminate.
This activity clearly defines the polar vortex and its behavior in the northern hemisphere. Its relevance to the atmosphere at 500 millibars (~18,000 feet) is covered as is the connection to surface weather and storm behavior.
NO WHERE ELSE will you find specific case studies on polar vortex behavior.
Multiple case studies are provided. Within these case studies the following is provided:
-Real scientific and profession computer forecasting model outputs
-Actual 500 millibar maps
-Actual surface temperatures
-Actual surface air pressures
-Temperature and precipitation anomalies
-NCDC climate summaries
Key terminology, concepts, and phenomena addressed include:
-500 millibar maps
-Upper level ridges and upper level troughs
-50-50 blocking low
-Northern/western hemisphere geography, climate patterns, and winter weather
Assessment methods include:
-Cut and paste
-Velcro and laminate
-Numerous assessment questions (choices given)
This activity allows YOU to CHOOSE to difficulty and pedagogical strategy.
WIDE RANGE OF ABILITY LEVELS! Predicated on the fact that the instructor determines the difficulty level of the whole activity or part of the activity based on what information is given and what information is not as well as how verbal questions are presented to the student(s).
This has been used on travelling science days with high marks and acclaim.
Can be infused easily into curriculum so learners that need an alternative assessment or may struggle with standard activities/labs/assessments have such an engaging option.
This activity has been used in all levels: special education to advanced learners.
A great addition to your meteorology teaching library.
Great feedback from curriculum field professionals.
Answer key provided.
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*Activity designed, completed, and submitted at an educational resource center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina*
Geo Leo and Meteo Mike
“The Tar Heel Tandem”
“Southern Science Specialists”