Trinity Sullivan and Maydha Kohli
Characters Atmosphere: The motherly god of weather. High Pressure: The mother of Wind Current and Ocean Current. Low Pressure: The father of Wind Current and Ocean Current. Wind Current: Daughter of High Pressure and Low Pressure. Sister of Ocean Current. Ocean Current: Son of High Pressure and Low Pressure. Brother of Wind Current. Hurricane: Best friend of Tornado. Tornado: Best friend of Hurricane. Hail and Snow: The two twin daughters of the Clouds. Rain and Sleet: The two sons of the Clouds. The Clouds: A result of the bitter conflicts between High Pressure and Low Pressure, whose children are Hail, Snow, Sleet, and Rain.
High Pressure and Low Pressure floated across the sky, facing each other. They were in another argument. Again. "You're always cooler!" Low Pressure yelled. Being denser than his wife had its issues, and it often got to his head. "Not my fault!" High Pressure retorted smugly. Wind Current sighed. "When will they ever stop?" she wondered. "It's not such a big deal anyway," and moved over to visit her brother. Ocean Current was paying attention to the conflict unfolding above him, and his sister's coming took him by surprise. "Another day, another argument," he said as she neared. Wind Current nodded her head in agreement. Their parents were quite disputed, and more often than not, Atmosphere was troubled by their quarrels. Today was just a normal day. They would yell for a while, then one would end it, and all would return as normal. Wind Current shook her head. "Seems like they were meant to argue," she whispered, and sighed once more. At least humans were oblivious to the harsh words spoken above them, by the grace of Atmosphere. If they knew what was going on up in the air, the consequences would be unimaginable. Ocean Current seemed in the same boat, and calmed the ocean surface. Low Pressure grew fiercer and fiercer till it seemed that the Clouds were coming and there would be no end to the fight. Wind Current said as much to her brother, a bit too loudly. Loud enough for their father to hear.
"What did you say, Wind Current?" her father demanded and whipped his head around to look at her. She glanced downwards at Ocean Current, but he had disguised himself from the second unfolding argument that his sister was embroiled in. He'd watch with a first-row seat for free, unknown. "I said that it seemed like the Clouds were coming. That's how mad you are with Mom. Can't you just figure something out and have a happily ever after?" Wind Current replied strongly and subtly. Though she was aiming to console her father a bit, it had the opposite effect. "You called me a Cloud?! How dare you, you unrespectful child! If you want a Cloud, that's what you'll get!" His words had enough effect for her to send out a stream of polar easterlies and swirl them around the poles, in stark contrast to the calmness of the doldrums. It was always like this. The changing moods of the inhabitants of the Atmosphere were always changing the currents on the Earth. Her father got warmer and warmer, and Wind Current shivered as she saw the water vapor rising toward Low Pressure, and the Clouds started to form. The Clouds meant their children would fall. Hail was the most vicious; she lashed at the Earth and sent torrents of ice falling to the ground. If the weather was right, Rain would be soothing. Snow was magical for the children down on the ground. Wind Current had seen it countless times: children rapping on the window pointing at the million particles of gentle Snow falling toward the ground. Sleet was the worse for drivers on the road. He caused them to skid across the paved concrete, resulting in several accidents for innocent people.
Of course, there were different types of the Clouds. Nimbuses were the biggest, darkest, and produced Rain and Hail. Stratuses were long strips of gray along the sky, and they made Sleet. Cirruses let snow fall, and Cumuluses did nothing really. They just sat there in the sky, moving along the winds - which were, by the way, a result of Wind Current. As her moods changed, areas of high and low pressure were produced. The shifts in pressure made the winds. And there were types of winds too. Four, actually - the doldrums, horse latitudes, prevailing winds, and the polar easterlies. The doldrums were near the equator. They were the calmest of winds. The horse latitudes were also known as trade winds, and they were from the equator to 300 north and south. They had little clouds and little rain. Prevailing winds were from 300 to 600 north and south. They had strong winds. Finally, the polar easterlies were near the poles and were cold and weak. As the Clouds grew larger and larger, Wind Current thought it just might be fun to push them around. She shifted her pressure over the Pacific Ocean to make it quite low, but not so low for a hurricane or tornado. She knew how deadly those spinning winds were to the people, throwing them this way and that and making them lose things, and she didn't want to cause them any harm with her Joke. Wind Current heated the Clouds, and settled back to watch the prevailing winds push the clouds far away into the Pacific, where they would rain down and dissolve into nothingness. That was the real triumph, Wind Current thought. The Clouds could be destroyed with the most deliberate planning. She delved down to meet Ocean Current, but he had disappeared. Probably to density currents, Wind Current knew. It was getting more serious, with the environment and all. Ocean Current had to keep up with the ever-changing temperature of the Earth, and the density currents played a huge role in it.
Wind Current swept across the land in a leisurely manner, going about, seeing what was going on on the surface of the Earth. The humans were milling about in their townships and cities and communities as usual, and birdcalls echoed through the forest, but there was nothing really interesting to see. Wait. Something caught Wind Current's eye. It was a building, short and squat. She drew herself closer to it, and she could make out squiggles of human writing that read: Weather Recording Base US 242 The building had several smaller structures constructed around it from which little cups were twirling around. As Wind Current neared, she saw that the cups spun faster and faster. She noticed that they swirled with the wind. The speed of her arrival had probably influenced the instrument - she was having a shift in pressure again. On the ground near the wind-speeder, she saw a sign: Anemometer 4 So that thing was called an anemometer. As far as Wind Current could tell, it measured the speed of the wind by turning the cups around. On top of the short little building she saw a rooster with an arrow on it. The arrow was pointed in the left, from where Wind Current was blowing to. That thing must have told the people the wind direction. On a little plaque on the roof of the black building, Wind Current read: Wind Vane Below it was a little block of hardware with wires that ran down the length of the building. Wind Current followed them till they disappeared into the ground.
The roof of the building was mostly transparent, being made of tinted glass, so Wind Current peered in and took a look. She saw thousands of computers, and a group of scientists. They were staring at the computer. One was so large that Wind Current was able to read what was written on it. She read the following: Wind Speed: 23.1 M/PH Wind Direction: SWW Clearly, they were able to figure that out from the wind vane and anemometer 4. As she flew to check the other instruments out, she looked at plaques saying: Anemometer 5. Anemometer 1. Anemometer 35. There were so many of them, and all the same. Wind Current thought it a bit of indulgence. But on one of the towering poles on which these Anemometers were constructed, Wind Current saw a smaller thing. It looked like a clock that the humans used, but this one was different. She peered over to look at the plaque and read: Barometer. As she got closer and brought higher pressure with her, the little needle rose, indicating a rise in pressure. Wind Current drew back, shocked by this new technology that the humans had invented. After a little while she felt okay to look back into the buildings. In one she saw a map of what seemed to be the United States, but it had a lot of weird and squiggly colors on it. Next to it read a sign that said Weather Map. This showed the upcoming weather that was expected for the area. Wind Current found an instrument, one that she already knew. It read: Thermometer and she knew that it measured the temperature of the weather outside.
She hovered over the scientific building, and saw another map on the screens of the computer. In the top right-hand corner she saw that the map was called Isotherm. This is what Wind Current saw:
It was quite colorful, and Wind Current saw that it showed the weather fronts and what kind of weather there was in certain areas as well. The colors, she figured out, were to represent certain temperature ranges. And the fronts, she already knew happened on a usual basis when High and Low Pressure would meet and create new bursts of cold or warm air for the area.
A bit away from that map, Wind Current saw a map that was of the same structure and everything. However, it had a bunch of lines on it. In the top corner it said 'Isobar'. Somehow, she guessed that it meant the map showed air pressure. Why else would those L's and H's be on the map?
These were the instruments that Wind Current saw at the weather station.
While Wind Current was visiting the newly built weather station, Low Pressure and High Pressure were having a standoff in Texas. They hovered over Dallas, and each refused to move. They fought, and fought, and fought, until they were both equally tired. However, still they didn't move. As the air cooled, High Pressure mixed in, and the Clouds began to form once more. It looked like Rain from the stratus this time. The Clouds hung over for many days, till they finally burst. They stood their ground. Neither moved for a seemingly very long time. It kept raining and raining and raining. Wind Current stayed at the weather station, because she found it so fascinating. It turned out that she was right about the isobar map; it really did show pressure. As her parents argued, one day she saw a different marking on the map that she had never seen before. It had red bumps on one side and blue spikes on the other, like this:
A blinking box soon came up, and Wind Current read: Stationary Front over Texas Somehow, Wind Current knew right then and there that something was wrong. She didn't know that her parents were arguing in the air over Texas, but she knew that something was wrong. So she flew to Texas.
Sure enough, when she got there, she could see Low Pressure and High Pressure facing each other. It was the same story. Wind Current waited for someone to advance and end the argument, but nobody did. That was when she learned that a stationary front was really what it seemed: neither Low Pressure nor High Pressure moved an inch. She could see that as a result, there was a lot of precipitation for several days, because of the shifts in pressure. Stationary fronts were actually quite boring. They did nothing. But Wind Current knew that they had at least a little bit of effect on the weather. She headed back to the weather station to see what the scientists were up to now. To her astonishment, when she returned, there was another symbol on the map. It was a line with just red bumps on one side. It looked like this: [image] It seemed to be somewhere in Florida, so she decided to go there. She saw High and Low Pressure at it again. But this time, it seemed that Low Pressure was winning. As Low Pressure advanced, the sky turned cloudy and the air cooled. So in a front that was symbolized with a red bumpy line, which she decided to call Warm Front, it meant precipitation and cooler air. Satisfied this time, Wind Current went back to the station. She watched the scientists hard at work. Little by little, she began to want to be like one of the scientists. She loved to watch them. Then one day, she saw another symbol.
This one had just blue spikes on it. In front of it was written a big fat capital H. Wind Current wondered what it meant. She went to New York, which was where the front was, to find out. [image] As soon as she got there, she figured out from the people talking that it had been really warm a few hours ago. So the air must have been warm. But now it was really, very cold. That must have meant that the cold air had replaced the warm air, and that was what the front represented. So Wind Current thought that that must have been happening in the warm front too, and she named this blue spiky front a cold front since the cold air was coming in to replace the warm air. A few days later, Wind Current was still in New York, and she noticed something. The air was normal again, but every now and then it seemed to be shifting its temperature. It was almost like the air was rotating in the Atmosphere. But what could possibly cause that? Wind Current stayed in New York to solve the mystery. She thought about what had gone on. When the front had moved in, the Clouds formed and there was no sun. But when the front had moved on a bit, the sun came out again and probably gave some warmth to the earth.
So then maybe, the earth got so warm from the sun, even though it was so cold, that it started to send some of the heat into Atmosphere to make sure the ground didn't burn. And because the earth was always heating thanks to the sun, the air would have kept getting warmer. But it didn't. Why was that so? Wind Current thought about it, and thought about it. Until she realized that the answer was in the front. Just as warm air replaced cool air, and cool air replaced warm air, thanks to the arguments of High and Low Pressure, similarly the heated-up air was being replaced by cold air. But because the cold air sank, as Wind Current had learned from her parents' arguments, the warm air rose again and the cold air sank. It was a continual cycle. When the warm air rose, the Clouds were formed, as Wind Current had seen in the warm front. So the warm air helped to make the Clouds. But where would that cold air be coming from? Wind Current thought about water, and how it heated very, very slowly. The land must heat faster than the ocean, so when it released warm air into Atmosphere, the cold air from the sea moved in to take its place. Wind Current had finally cracked the case. She named her discovery Convection. On the next page is a diagram of how Wind Current picture Convection taking place.
Wind Current returned to the weather station again, satisfied. As she watched the scientists, she longed to tell them about her discovery of convection and its amazingness. Of course, she couldn't talk to them. However, Wind Current had a feeling that they had already figured out the wonder of Convection. How was that possible unless they actually flew to the places to figure it out? Wind Current started to wonder how the scientists sitting in that black building figured the weather out. Maybe they took pictures standing in the Atmosphere and saw things forming on the earth? But they couldn't stand in the Atmosphere. Everybody knew that humans couldn't fly in the air no matter how hard they tried. So then how did they get the pictures? Maybe they used machines to take pictures. That was probably it. Wind Current decided to see for herself. So she flew up through the Atmosphere - and through its four layers as well. The first layer, the troposphere, was about 6 miles thick. It had a lot of clouds in it. The stratosphere was on top of the troposphere. It had the ozone layer, blocking harmful things coming from the sun. The stratosphere was around 9 miles thick. The third layer was the mesosphere, and it was about 50 miles thick. Finally, Wind Current passed through the thermosphere, and she was exhausted after passing through 200 miles of Atmosphere! Atmosphere was very, very big. From up there in the thermosphere, Earth looked smaller than Wind Current thought it was. However, she saw several little structures circling the Earth. She was right: the scientists got images of Earth from machines in the Atmosphere, and then they looked at them to determine the weather. Wind Current had often seen people watching the weather forecast, and she had wondered how people were able to know exactly where a cloud was forming and what it looked like. Now she knew.
As Wind Current came back down to Earth, she decided to see what was up in the Pacific Ocean. To her alarm, she saw a swirling mass of Clouds near Hawaii. Wind Current had seen something like that before. She had seen a hurricane that was a swirling mass of Clouds, just like that one. As she neared to examine, the air pressure had dropped a lot - Wind Current could feel it. It was very warm over the ocean, and the air was very moist. It seemed like the Clouds were all set to develop into a hurricane. Wind Current stayed there for a few days to keep an eye on the Clouds. Just as she had predicted, the Clouds formed into a hurricane. It was very wide - it seemed 300 miles across. As the days went by, the hurricane grew bigger and bigger, and began to move towards Asia. Wind Current watched the hurricane strike the continent fiercely. After a few days, it had just disappeared into a few measly little Clouds. But when the hurricane was gathering itself up, Wind Current thought she had seen something like it before: in a tornado. Tornados were just on land and not in the ocean. Both hurricanes and tornadoes spiraled inward. They were both natural disasters - they both could damage buildings and humans. They were both caused by something that disturbed the atmosphere. The only difference that Wind Current could see between the two, as far as formation went, was that once was on land and one was in the water. It was like two best friends on a beach, Wind Current thought. One loved the water, but the other wanted to just sit on the sand. So from that experience on, Wind Current named Hurricane and Tornado best friends forever and ever.
Wind Current flew back to her home - not that she really had one, anyway, because High Pressure and Low Pressure were often just moving around and arguing with each other. She watched them at a - what was it called? - oh yes, a stationary front for several days, arguing precious time away. Honestly, they argued about the littlest things for the longest times. High Pressure was the better of the two, honestly, though, for the humans. Whenever High Pressure moved into an area, either chasing or running away from Low Pressure, that area was expected to have clear weather, but it was going to be cold. Low Pressure, however, was not so good. When Low Pressure moved into an area, the air became really warm, and Clouds began to form. When the Clouds formed, that meant precipitation of some sort for the humans in the area. Although precipitation was good for plants and crops and all, Wind Current knew that the humans did not like it one bit based on things that could happen based on precipitation. As she thought about her parents, Wind Current realized that High Pressure and Low Pressure were really what caused the weather. At fronts of all kinds, they were replacing one another. They must have caused winds, too - because air would be replacing air, and that could create a breeze. Suddenly, Wind Current understood why her parents argued so much. It wasn't that they just needed something to do. It was because they drove the weather. They made the wind and Rain and Snow and Hail and Sleet all fall down on the earth, and as Wind Current thought about it more, when the Sun pulled on the water in the oceans, when it rose up in the air as water vapor, High Pressure and Low Pressure were to decided whether or not that water vapor became Clouds.
Wind Current fell asleep soon enough, though, despite the arguments going on. The next morning, when she woke up, she found water glistening off of a tree in a forest. As she inspected, she realized that all the trees in that forest had water on them. But it didn't rain last night. Where did that water come from? Wind Current thought about the air. The air had been quite humid and moist, so that meant that the air had water vapor in it. Also, the temperature had been just about 430, so there had been time for the water vapor to cool. Was the tree the same temperature as the air? Wind Current decided it was. So this water that was on the trees right now came from water vapor hanging in the moist air. When it condensed, the trees caught the water, and water appeared on the leaves. Wind Current called the water on the trees Dew, and she called the temperature of the air at which the water had gotten onto the leaves Dew Point. It was only at that temperature or below that that the water would be able to condense.
After making her profound discovery about Dew and water, Wind Current suddenly realized she had not seen her brother in a good long while. He must have been feeling lonely. So she decided to go visit him. She called out, "Ocean Current! Ocean Current! It's Wind Current!" She did their special wind hollow, and he immediately splashed up from the ocean, sending huge waves across the beach where he was. "How have you been?" Wind Current asked him. "Same old me. The density currents are waning, and it's not good for the earth." Ocean Current had told Wind Current before about the density currents. They helped to regulate the temperature of the Earth. Wind Current understood how important that was. "What about the upwelling?" "The upwelling is fine. The nutrients are coming back to the beach and everything like they're supposed to." Wind Current had found out from Ocean Current that upwelling took cold, salty water deep from the ocean and thrust it up so that the richer nutrients down there could be released into the bigger ocean currents. "And the surface currents?" "Well, the major ones seem to be all right. The Gulf Stream is still warm and everything, El Nino hasn't formed. I think that they're all right." Surface currents were closer to the surface of the ocean, and they played a part in the temperature of coastal areas. "I'm glad to see that everything's okay," Wind Current said.
"Where've you been all this time anyway?" Ocean Current asked. Wind Current told him everything about the weather station, the thermometers and barometers, stationary, warm, and cold fronts, the Dew, the Convection everything she had learned about the weather in the past few days. Ocean Current was mighty surprised. "That's a lot to know for someone like you," Ocean Current laughed. Wind Current grinned. "Hey, at least I know something. Unlike some people, for example, oh, I don't know, Ocean Current!" she said. Ocean Current laughed and threw a mass of water into the air, but it didn't hurt Wind Current one bit, since she, of course, could fly away. And that was a happily ever after for the family in the Atmosphere.
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Wind Vane, Fronts, Isotherm, Isobar graphics Dew & Convection Images Describing characters Layers of atmosphere Convection High Pressure Low Pressure Ocean Currents Wind Currents Fronts Hurricanes Tornadoes Types of precipitation Types of clouds How scientists get images Instruments used by meteorologists Dew point
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Anemometer, Barometer, Thermometer Images Title Page Ideas for Characters