The weather is an important part of our daily lives. Is it cold outside? Will it rain today? Do I need to bring my umbrella to work? Will my plants be okay if it freezes tonight?
The climate is also important to our lives. Will it be a snowy winter? Will the rainy season affect a farmer’s crops? How will climate change affect our weather?
What is the difference between the weather and climate? Weather is the term used to describe specific events—like a rainstorm or a hot day—that happen over a few hours, days or weeks. The word climate describes the average weather conditions in a place over 30 years or more.
Global Climate Change: According to NASA and most scientists in the field of Meteorology (the study of weather) and Climatology (the study of Climate), the Earth is getting warmer.
Read more about weather and climate at https://scijinks.gov/weather-v-climate/
The Water Cycle
How does the water cycle work? Evaporation, Condensation, Precipitation, Collection.
Evaporation: The Sun heats up the water on the Earth. The water changes into a gas called water vapor. The water vapor rises into the air.
Condensation: The air above the Earth is cold. The water vapor changes into tiny droplets of water or ice crystals, and creates a cloud. When the tiny water droplets join together they create bigger droplets and the clouds get heavier.
Precipitation: Once the cloud is heavy enough, gravity takes over and pulls the water back to Earth in the form of rain, snow, or hail. And the process starts all over again.
Clouds are large groups of tiny water droplets (vapor). Without clouds it wouldn’t rain or snow!
Clouds are divided into 4 categories:
Cirriform clouds: These are high, wispy, whitish clouds that form in a low pressure area. They usually appear before the advance of a storm.
Cumuliform clouds: These are detached clouds that look white and fluffy. The base of the cloud can be flat.
Stratiform clouds: These clouds are broad and wide spread appearing like a blanket.
Nimbo form clouds: These clouds can be large and are known to combine the other three clouds forms. These clouds are rain clouds.
CHALLENGE QUESTION: What do you think will happen if it rains where there is air pollution or dirty oceans or rivers?
Rain in a Jar
You will need a jar, a lid of some kind, ice and hot water. Place the hot water in the jar and place a lid on top. Put the ice on top of the lid and watch the evaporation occur. When the water vapor rises and touches the cold lid, condensation appears. If the condensation is “heavy” enough it will start to drip back down—precipitation.
Cloud in a Jar
Take the jar of water and explain that the water represents the air outside. Squirt some shaving cream on the top of the jar. The shaving cream represents the clouds. Now with a pipette drop watercolor or food coloring into the shaving cream. Eventually “the cloud” is saturated enough that it will rain. What do you see?
Fill a 2 liter soda bottle with water and screw the top back on tight.Turn the bottle upside down and watch the funnel appear in the bottle.
Food for thought:
- How does the weather and climate affect our daily lives?
- How important is the weather to people like farmers or other professionals?
- Is the water cycle important to other living things on Earth
It’s time to be a Weatherperson and RECORD your own weather broadcast! We rely on the broadcast of the weather in order to help us start our day. A person who predicts the weather is called a Meteorologist.
Create some weather symbols out of paper (the sun, clouds, rain, wind etc.) and create a compass to help in the broadcast. Once you have your symbols ready, it’s time to be a meteorologist. Choose a cool meteorologist name.
A map behind the broadcaster could add to the fun! Try to put the symbols on the map.
Who doesn’t love a microphone? You can use a spoon or a marker to be your mic. Use expressive words, and use the compass as a learning tool.
When you are ready to give your report, ask someone to record it for you.
Have fun. Answer questions like, “What should we wear on a rainy day?” and “Can we go to the beach in the snow?”
Using heavy paper draw out several doll templates. Create clothing appropriate for the weather!
Find a paper towel tube. Seal up one end with paper and tape. Fill the tube with some rice and beans. (not too full) and then seal the other end. Decorate the tube with pretty paper or paint. Moving the tube back and forth slowly will create the sound of rain.
Weather Sing Down:
Challenge your family to sing songs with weather words! You don’t have to sing the whole song, just the part that talks about rain or snow or clouds or any other weather word.
Make some cloud pictures:
Using cotton balls, have the children create a picture of a cloud. Glue the balls onto the picture and then draw a person under the clouds. Are they rain clouds? What kind of outfit does the person in the drawing have on?
Make a car that runs with the power of wind!
This is one way from: https://www.sciencebuddies.org/stem-activities/wind-powered-car#summary
- Corrugated cardboard
- Construction paper or cardstock
- Plastic straws (2)
- Plastic bottle caps (4)
- skewers (3)
Follow the instructions at the sciencebuddies website, or use your imagination to design your own! You can use beads or circles of cardboard as wheels! You can use stirrers or paper straws as axles. Take a picture or video or your car on the move in the wind, and share it with firstname.lastname@example.org or with your teachers on DOJO or SEESAW!
Virtual Field Trips!
Story Time Videos!
Kid Weather - designed by a kid and his dad to help children figure out what to wear depending on the temperature and the weather outside.