Come see how the air above us drives the weather we experience at the surface.
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500 millibar pressure heights correspond to what is happening in the atmosphere at about 18,000 feet. This is what drives our surface weather. The understanding 500 millibars maps is the primary skill of any meteorologist!
This is a professional 500 millibar analysis activity addressing the “steering currents” that drive our surface weather.
This 500 millibar analysis is centered on snowstorm development in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast and the atmospheric parameters that are NECESSARY to create heavy snow.
This particular activity meets the needs of MANY students as the instructor can dictate the method of delivery.
This is a meteorological case study, lab/activity, and an assessment.
Relevant information can be written when assigned as fill in-notetaking-draw-sketch-answer circle-discussion based assignment…OR it can be used as a cut and paste or Velcro and laminate for an alternate strategy addressing students that desire or require curricular modifications.
Content includes the following:
On a general 500mb geopotential map, the location assignment of ridges, troughs, surface low pressure systems, surface high pressure systems, vorticity maximums, air masses, wind vectors.
General definition of what 500 millibar geopotential heights are and how they relate to storms and forecasting.
Upper air pattern of the Blizzard of 1996.
Heavy snow rules when forecasting a snowstorm.
Breakdown of upper level trough propagation from neutral to a severely negative tilt (case study of February 5-7, 2010).
Case study of the historic December 11-13, 1960 snowstorm and the significant snow accumulations from Virginia to Maine. Includes assessment questions.
Case study of the February 8-10, 2017 snowstorm with assessment questions.
Application to modern forecasting and real-time satellite data.
Can be easily infused 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 (even honors).
Perfect for homeschooling!
A great addition to your meteorology teaching library.
Within the classroom, this activity has been tested by students in grades 5th – 10th within multiple types of schools - public, private, and charter.
This work has also been shared at a meteorological conference.
Great feedback from curriculum field professionals.
Applicable to many state science assessments and benchmarks.
Has been applied to state mandated and end of year tests for science in grades 8 and 11.
Even used by teachers in New York State as a preparation for the Earth Science Grade 9 Regents Exam.
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”