In this unit, we will studying the global patterns that create and move air masses around the Earth. Characteristics of these air masses such as temperature, pressure, and humidity will affect global weather. By observing these patterns, scientists are able to forecast and describe weather events.
We will also learn about the different of fronts, or boundaries between air masses. By charting frontal boundaries and air masses on weather maps, students will be able to use what they learn in this unit to make and test predictions about weather events.
Lesson 1: What is Weather? As we begin with our first lesson of our weather unit, we will be introduced to weather – the properties of the atmosphere at a given time and location. Earth’s weather is made up of a variety of factors that include temperature, air movement and precipitation. We will also look at several of the different tools that can be used to measure and record characteristics of our weather. Important weather tools include thermometers, barometers, wind vanes, anemometers, and hygrometers. By using these and other weather tools, meteorologists are able to describe current weather conditions, as well as forecast upcoming weather changes and weather events. Download PDF Notes
Lesson 2: Temperature, Pressure, and Humidity In lesson 2, we will examine temperature, air pressure and humidity. These three important factors are continually affecting Earth’s weather. In this lesson, we will see how temperature, air pressure, and humidity can work together to create a variety of weather conditions and events. By monitoring changes in these conditions, meteorologists are able to forecast upcoming weather. Throughout this unit we will be recording temperature, pressure, and humidity data for our area. We will use the data that we collect to see how these factors change and how these changes affect our weather. Download PDF Notes
Lesson 3: Air Masses In lesson 3, we will be looking at air masses and their affect on weather. Air masses describe large areas of air with similar temperature, pressure, and humidity. We will learn about how air masses form and about the wind currents that move them around Earth’s atmosphere. In the United States, prevailing westerly winds move weather across the country from west to east. One particular westerly wind called the Jet Stream has significant effects on weather in our area. We will also look at clouds and the effects that they can have on weather conditions. There are several different types of clouds, each with their own composition and characteristics. By observing cloud formations, we can often make accurate, short-term predictions about weather. Download PDF Notes
Lesson 4: Weather Fronts In lesson 4, we will learn about the different types of weather fronts – the boundaries between air masses. Different types of weather fronts can produce a variety of weather conditions, both along the frontal boundary and with the air masses behind it. Because these fronts typically involve the merging of warmer and cooler air masses, wind and precipitation is common at the frontal boundaries where these air masses meet. The major types of fronts include warm fronts, cold fronts, stationary fronts, and occluded fronts. In this lesson, we will look at examples of the different types of weather fronts and the impact that they have on our weather. Download PDF Notes
Lesson 5: Using Weather Maps In the final lesson of our weather unit, we will study weather maps. Meteorologists use weather maps to show both current weather conditions and weather forecasts. A weather map can show a variety of weather factors including precipitation, air pressure, temperature, and the movement of weather fronts. During this lesson, we will look at a variety of weather maps and use them to make weather forecasts. Download PDF Notes
Resources and Other Documentation
Unit 3 Guided Notes The guided notes for each unit provide students with a printable copy of notes summarizing the content from each class. Blanks are inserted into the notes where key facts or content should appear. As information is covered during class, students should write missing content into the blanks to complete the guided notes. These guided notes may also be used as a review tool for unit tests. Students may print a copy of the guided notes and fill in the missing content. This can be checked using the complete PDF notes for each lesson.