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Meteorology for Kids!

Rachel and Erin

Rachel Slide 3: Wind currents Slide 6: Types of Fronts Slide 9: Sun and Energy Slide 10: Weather Map Slide 12: Types of Precipitation Slide 13: Types of Clouds Slide 14: Scientist Images Slide 15: Meteorological Instruments

Erin Slide 2: Atmosphere Slide 4: Ocean Currents Slide 5: High and Low Pressure Slide 7: Hurricanes Slide 8: Tornadoes Slide 10: Weather Map Slide 11: Isotherm and Isobar

There are four layers of the atmosphere. The highest layer of the atmosphere is called the Thermosphere. This is where small meteorites burn and where Northern lights occur. The layer below the thermosphere is called the Mesosphere. The layer below the mesosphere is called the Stratosphere. This contains the ozone layer that protects us from sunlight. The bottom layer is called the Troposphere. This is where all weather happens.


Wind Currents Wind happens when air is moved from areas with high pressure to areas with low pressure. Unequal heating of the atmosphere also causes winds. Local Winds These winds can blow in any direction over a small area or short distance. They can blow from sea to land or land to sea.

Global Winds Land Breeze Land breezes blow from the land to large bodies of water. Differences in temperature are the main cause for these breezes.

Jet Stream Winds that blow in the upper Troposphere with very strong pressure and speed are called Jet Streams. They blow from west to east.

Sea Breeze Cool air that blows onto the land from the ocean.

There are four types of wind that create wind patterns over large area of the globe.

Fun Fact! The Coriolis Effect makes water and air move in different reactions depending on the hemisphere you are in. This is because of the rotation of the Earth! In the Northern hemisphere, they curve right.

Trade Winds Mostly calm winds with very little clouds or rain that blow 30 degrees north and south of the equator.

Doldrums Blow along the equator and are calm and weak winds.

Prevailing Westerlies Polar Easterlies Very cold winds that are weak and blow in the North and South Poles.

These are strong winds that blow 30-60 degrees above and below the equator. These winds affect United States weather.

Types of Ocean Currents Surface Currents: These currents move through the ocean, and are caused by winds.

Density Currents: These currents form when dense sea water sinks below less dense cold water.

Gulf Stream: A special current in the Atlantic Ocean. It is a warm current that flows from Florida to North Carolina. Upwelling: A special current that brings deep cold water to the surface and also brings nutrients up as well.

U.S. Currents: On the east coast, currents originate from the equator. These currents have the greatest solar energy. On the west coast, currents originate from farther north/south from the equator. These currents have less solar energy.

High and Low Pressure High Pressure High pressure areas are also known as Anticyclones. These areas are represented on a map as the letter H. During this time, cool air falls and gets warmer as it comes closer to the surface. The "descending air" causes dry, clear weather.

Low Pressure Low pressure areas are also known as Cyclones. These areas are represented on a map as the letter L. As warm air rises from the surface, it cools, causing clouds and storms. These Cyclones are almost opposite of Anticyclones. Fun Fact! In the Northern Hemisphere, Cyclones spin counterclockwise and Anticyclones spin clockwise. But in the Southern Hemisphere, they spin in the opposite direction!

Types of Fronts Warm Fronts This type of front brings rain or fog and strong humidity to an area. They are caused when masses of warm air collide with cold air. The warm air moves over the cold very slowly..

Cold Fronts Cold Fronts happen when fast-moving cold air slides under slow-moving warm air. This fast collision creates thunderstorms. They pass through an area quickly, leaving it with cool air and clear skies.

Occluded Fronts When occluded fronts take place, the weather will turn cloudy, rainy, and possibly snowy. Warm air is caught in the middle of two masses of cold air, cutting off and cooling the warm.

Stationary Fronts Warm and cold air meet but do not have enough energy to move past each other. They stay still and bring rain and clouds.


Hurricanes form over warm oceans near the equator. Warm air rises, which is replaced by low pressure air. High pressure surrounds that air, which makes it warm, and it rises too. As the air continues to rise, more air "swirls" in to take it's place. The rising air cools, and clouds form. All of the clouds, winds, warm and moist air combined make a hurricane!

Fun Fact! In the Northern Hemisphere, hurricanes spin counterclockwise, but in the Southern Hemisphere, they spin clockwise. This is because the Earth is tilted on its axis!

Tornadoes Tornadoes need several things to happen. First, warm air from the Gulf Stream has to meet with cool, dry air from the north, like Canada. Then, a change in wind direction with an increasing wind speed and height creates a horizontal spinning effect. The rising air pushes the rotating cylinder up, forcing it to be vertical, and creates a tornado. Tornadoes occur near thunderstorms and thunderstorm clouds, and these need lots of low level moisture and a cold front or low winds.

Sun and Energy Conduction is the direct touch of Almost all energy comes from molecules that transfers heat. the sun. It travels by electromagnetic waves. There is visible light, infrared radiation, and ultraviolet radiation. Visible light is what you see from the sun! Infrared radiation is what causes heat. Ultraviolet radiation causes eye damage, skin cancer, and sunburns when you are outside! Convection causes most of the heating in the It is important that you troposphere, the lowest part Radiation is energy of the atmosphere. It sent by electromagnetic protect yourself from the Sun's harmful rays! transfers heat by movement waves. of a liquid.

Weather Maps

Isotherm and Isobar Isotherm An isotherm is a line on a weather map that connects places with equal temperatures.

Isobar An isobar is a line on a weather map that connects places with equal air pressure.

Types of Precipitation Rain Liquid precipitation




a type of liquid precipitation that falls in droplets



a mixture of rain and snow

flakes of frozen precipitation

Hail frozen blocks of ice that ranges from the size of a pea to the size of a grapefruit

Types of Clouds Cumulus


Cumulus clouds are very white and puffy. They are flat on the bottom and look like giant cotton balls in the sky!

The fog you sometimes see in the mornings is made of Stratus clouds! They form in layers and are very low.

Cirrus These clouds are made from ice crystals. They look very thin, light, and are bright white.

Dew point is the temperature when condensation happens. Condensation forms clouds.

How Scientists Get Images Scientists use satellites to get images of the Earth and weather patterns. Satellites orbit the Earth while capturing pictures.

Satellite images help meteorologists predict and understand weather patterns.

Meteorological Instruments Anemometer: Barometer:

measures wind speed

measures air pressure

Mercury Barometer filled with mercury

Thermometer: measures temperature in an area

Aneroid Barometer small and portable with no liquids

Period 2, Rachel, Erin, Meteorology for Kids!