Reading Weather Maps

     Created by:

Beth Zemke
Elementary Science Resource Specialist
Irvine Unified School District

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     UCI Summer Science Institute WebQuests - 2001

UCI Science WebQuests from all years

    Purpose: Weather affects the daily lives of every person.  Many decisions we make are based on the weather.  In order to use the information available to us about the weather, we need skills in reading weather maps.  Hopefully, this WebQuest will serve as a primer to students who want to be able to read weather maps.

Click on this image for a larger view.
   Resources Needed: A computer with access to the internet.
Computer skills to move between the WebQuest and the links provided.
Reading skills at a 5th grade level or better.

   Your Task Activity 1:

   Learning to read different kinds of weather maps.

     A.  Learn how to read a variety of weather maps at the Unisys Weather site.
          1.  Radar.
          2.  Surface Data Plot and Weather Symbols.
          3.  Frontal Location Plot and Surface Weather Depiction.
          4.  Pressure Contours.

   When visiting this Weather Site make sure to:

     B.  Visit several different types of maps at See More Maps.
     C.  Enlarge each map for a better view of details.
     D.  Read the section on How to Read This Map in order to better understand vocabulary and symbols.
          1.  The Map Daytime Forecast will be the type of map you are most familiar with and what you see on TV on a regular basis.
          2.  The map US Current Weather I believe is one of the most important for you to learn how to read for making predictions about future weather
     E.  Use the Map Selector to Browse the Maps by Activity, Geography and Map Type.
         1.  See how the Activity you plan can be affected by the weather.
          2.  Determine which type of map can help you make decisions about your Activity.
         3.  If you can answer the following questions, you have probably done a pretty thorough job of studying the Activity Maps.
               a.  What is the Weather Word of the Week and what does it mean?
               b.  How does one avoid Dangerous Tire Conditions?
               c.  What level of Energy Consuption did your community have?
              d. What is your UV Outlook Index for today?
     F.  There are worksheets attached to the TEACHER PAGE that may help you to navigate the Weather site.  Feel free to print these out and use them in
          any way you or your teacher choose.
     G.  Click on this link to learn more about the information on Weather Maps.
     H.  Click on this link to overview Science of the Atmosphere.

     Your Task Activity 2:

   Applying these skills to get information about your own location.

     A.  Visit several of the following sites.
          1.  Check this one out to see a live camera feed of many USA locations: Live Camera Feed
     B.  Use the information you get from these various sites to report to your class the different types of weather you class might experience today and for the
          next several days in a row.  Don't linger strictly on the temperature.  Remember precipitation, barometric pressure, energy consumption, travel
          conditions, etc.
     C.  Create your own weather station at your school.  Use this site to help you construct all the equipment you'll need:  Make Your own Weather Station.
     D.  Become an internet weather reporter by creating your own weather internet site.
     E.  Click on these links to learn more about:
          1. Weather in different parts of the world.
          2. At the AcuuWeather site choose Maps under Select a Feature.  This gives you the opportunity to select 10 different types of maps.
          3.  This Yahoo Weather site can allow you to view Maps of your local area.  After locating your city, click under Maps and Images in order to see the
               weather Outlook, Satelllite, Radar and Fronts.

     Your Task Activity 3:

   Some games, activities, and interesting sites to visit.

     A.  Visit some of these sites for fun weather activities.
          1.  Improve your weather and climate vocabulary with these word games,
          2.  Visit all 8 of Dan's WildWildWeather games.
     B.  The following sites have some more detailed and fascinating pictures and information.
          1.  Visit this site to learn about Extreme Science and Extreme Weather.
          2.  Visit these sites to learn more about Radar, Precipitation, Humidity, Temperature, Forecasting, Wind, and Climate.

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August 15, 2001

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