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  1. Weather & Atmosphere Animations Weather & Atmosphere Animations Click to go to menu For Classroom use by Mary E. Massey

  2. Menu Next slide Land & Sea Breezes Air Masses Fronts High & Low Pressure Interpreting Weather Convection Coriolis Effect Climate Ocean Currents Global Winds Thunderstorms Lightening Strikes Hurricanes Tornados The Water Cycle Clouds States of Matter Atmospheric Layers Test Prep What is Weather?See how and why the state of our atmosphere changes from day to day in this BrainPOP movie.

  3. Land & Sea Breezes Next slide Observe an animation of land and sea breezes.Keycode: ES1903 Unequal heating of air over land and water results in breezes near shorelines. While the land is warm during the day, air above it rises, and a cool breeze blows in from the sea. As the land cools off at night, air pressure over it increases, and a cool land breeze blows out to the sea. Examine the changing temperature of the land throughout the 24 hours represented in the animation.

  4. Air Masses Next slide View satellite movies of air masses moving across North America.Keycode: ES2001

  5. Air Masses Next slide View satellite movies of air masses moving across North America.Keycode: ES2001

  6. Air Masses Next slide An air mass is a large (usually thousands of miles across) volume of air that has horizontally uniform properties in terms of temperature, and to a lesser extent humidity. Air masses acquire their properties from spending days to weeks over the same part of the Earth: say over northern Canada, the North Pole, the tropical Pacific Ocean, etc. Polar air masses become very cold, especially in the winter, because relatively little sunlight shines on the poles of the Earth, and so the air mass continuously loses infrared radiation to outer space, which cools it, with little or no sunlight to offset that cooling. A "continental polar" air mass will be somewhat colder and less humid (from being over very cold land) than a "maritime polar" air mass, which has been somewhat warmed and moistened by the ocean. A "tropical maritime" air mass will be very warm and humid. A "tropical continental" air mass usually covers much of the United States in the summertime. Other air mass types include "arctic", "equatorial", and "monsoon". On average, warm air masses tend to flow towards the poles, and cold air masses tend to flow towards the equator, helping to cool the tropics and warm the polar regions.

  7. Cold Front Next slide Click to see animation!

  8. Warm Front Next slide Click to see animation!

  9. Stationary Fronts Next slide

  10. Occluded Front Next slide

  11. Front Animations Next slide Compare and contrast warm and cold fronts.Keycode: ES2002

  12. High Pressure Next slide

  13. Low Pressure Next slide

  14. High & Low Pressure Next slide

  15. High & Low Pressure ES2003  Satellite Images of the Storm of the Century This animation shows color-enhanced satellite images of the "Storm of the Century," which occurred March 12 through 14, 1993. Different colors in the clouds indicate the intensity of precipitation falling from them. The graph below the images shows how barometric pressure changed at West Palm Beach, Florida as the storm approached and passed. Next slide

  16. High & Low Pressure Next slide

  17. High & Low Pressure Examine how barometric pressure changes with weather conditions.Keycode: ES1902 Next slide

  18. Interpreting Weather Next slide Write ten (10) things in your journal based on what this map reveals to you.

  19. Earth’s Spheres Observe a visual model of Earth's spheres.Keycode: ES0102 Pendulums generally swing back and forth in a single plane fixed in space. On Earth however, if the path of a pendulum's swing is traced out over time, the orientation of the plane appears to change. This provides evidence for Earth's rotation because it shows that Earth is rotating underneath the unchanging orientation of the pendulum's swing. This animation shows two views of a pendulum swinging over the North Pole. The drawing shows the path traced out by the swinging pendulum. Next slide

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  24. Climate Next slide Observe how nature records climate change.Keycode: ES2104 Observe images of different climate zones.Keycode: ES2103 Click on the red spots to see the climate in that area.

  25. Climate Next slide

  26. Ocean Currents Next Major ocean currents of the world. On this illustration red arrows indicate warm currents, while cold currents are displayed in blue.

  27. Ocean Currents Ocean CurrentsLearn how and why ocean currents move in this BrainPOP animated movie. Next slide

  28. Ocean Currents & Global Winds Examine global surface currents.Keycode: ES2401 Next slide

  29. Ocean Currents & Global Winds Observe how the monsoon changes direction.Keycode: ES2402 This animation shows average wind and precipitation data for the months of April through December over a five-year period. Seasonal changes in the location of air pressure belts cause the winds to change direction. Observe how conditions change from April to December. Determine when the winds reverse direction and what type of weather they bring to India and Southeast Asia. Next slide

  30. C O R I O L I S E F F E C T Air flows from areas of higher pressure to areas of lower pressure. Based on this fact, the predicted wind direction for the area on the left side of this satellite image would be from the southeast. The Coriolis Effect influences wind by deflecting its path to the right in the Northern Hemisphere. The sequence of weather satellite images shows that the actual wind direction is from the southwest. The satellite images show atmospheric motion over the northern Pacific Ocean for a 36-hour period.Click the image to see the animation. Use the movie controls to step through or replay the movie. Observe an animation of the Coriolis effect over Earth's surface.Keycode: ES1904 Next slide

  31. C O R I O L I S E F F E C T A plane flying from Anchorage, Alaska directly toward Miami, Florida would miss its target due to the Coriolis effect. The target location where the plane was headed when it took off has moved with Earth's rotation, so the plane would end up to the right of its original target. Observe how the Coriolis effect influences wind direction.Keycode: ES1905 Next slide

  32. C O R I O L I S E F F E C T A plane flying from Tierra del Fuego, Argentina directly toward Rio de Janeiro, Brazil would miss its target due to the Coriolis effect. The target location where the plane was headed when it took off has moved with Earth's rotation, so the plane would end up to the left of its original target. In reality, pilots take the Coriolis effect into account so they do not miss their targets. Observe how the Coriolis effect influences wind direction.Keycode: ES1905 Next slide

  33. Thunderstorms Warm, moist air rising over central Florida on August 2, 1995 resulted in a series of large thunderstorm cells. The GOES 9 weather satellite, on orbit approximately 35,800 km (22,300 miles) above Earth recorded the development of these storms from dawn to dusk. After a clear morning, warm unstable air rose, generating light cloud cover over land. Intense updrafts formed several cumulonimbus clouds. Examine the images carefully to see the effect of the downdrafts as each thunderstorm cell matured. Observe an animation of a thunderstorm.Keycode: ES2004 Next slide

  34. Lightening Strikes Next slide Electrons flow down from the cloud to the ground

  35. Lightening Strikes Static ElectricityWhat causes static electricity? Find out as Tim and Moby explore electric charges in this animated BrainPOP movie. Next slide

  36. Lightening Strikes Positive strikes can be in advance of negative strikes and can be twice as strong. They are particularly dangerous as they can occur several miles ahead of the storm with larger peak current for longer duration making fire more likely. Next slide

  37. Lightening Strikes All severe thunderstorms require strong vertical wind shear. Updrafts stay ahead of the downdrafts. Updrafts and downdrafts wrap around each other due to wind shear. Downdrafts reinforce updrafts. Next slide Acts like an advancing cold front.

  38. Sea Surface Temps Next slide Observe seasonal changes in the amount of sunlight reaching locations on Earth.Keycode: ES1704 Examine infrared images that show variation in surface temperature.Keycode: ES1705 Consider how the sea surface temperature pattern shifts over time. Does the location of the pattern change with respect to longitude or latitude? By how many degrees does the pattern shift?

  39. Hurricanes Next slide • Sept. 18, 2003: If you happened to be in North Carolina, the sight of advancing Hurricane Isabel was surely unwelcome. From space, though, it was a thing of beauty. • NSA's Terra satellite took this picture at 11:50 a.m. EDT on Sept. 18th just as heart of Isabel was making landfall. Red-, green- and blue-filtered images were combined to create a true-color view of the dangerous storm. A similar image was captured on Sept. 17th by NASA's Aqua satellite. • "The colors are natural," says Gary Jedlovec, a climate scientist at the National Space Science and Technology Center in Huntsville, AL. "This is what an astronaut would see looking down on the hurricane from orbit." • In fact, Terra and Aqua see much more than human eyes can. So do their sister satellites TRMM, Jason-1 and QuickScat--all members of NASA's Earth-observing fleet. Onboard instruments sense the temperature of the air, the distribution of moisture around the storm, the speed of its winds. They can even measure the heights of clouds. • "These data are invaluable to researchers who are trying to understand the inner workings of hurricanes," says Jedlovec. • What causes a hurricane to start? Which way will it go? And how long will it last? Millions of people under that big swirling cloud have a sudden interest in these questions. Terra, Aqua, and the others are finding the answers.

  40. Hurricanes Next slide • A similar image was captured on Sept. 17th by NASA's Aqua satellite.

  41. Hurricanes GOES 8 satellite images of hurricane Dennis approaching the coast of Florida on August 28, 1999. Observe an animation of a hurricane.Keycode: ES2008 Next slide

  42. Hurricanes • Take Warm Water, Stir • Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) must be 82 degrees Fahrenheit (F) or warmer for tropical cyclone formation and sustenance. • Next, add a disturbance. • Mix Thoroughly, Bake • Another necessary ingredient is rotating winds over the ocean's surface. These winds are a precursor to tropical cyclone development • With the right mix of winds and SSTs, an ordinary cluster of tropical thunderstorms can explode into a tropical storm. • Winds converge, forming the familiar circular pattern of clouds. • Warm, rising air in the storms draws water vapor up from the ocean. The vapor condenses in clouds and releases heat, warming the eye, evaporating more surface water and feeding the hurricane's heat engine, continuing the cycle. • Hurricane Heat Engine • Air temperature and humidity are also important factors. A Hurricane Tracker’s favorite meal!

  43. Hurricanes Click picture to view a hurricane simulation Orange and red indicate the necessary 82-degree and warmer sea surface temperatures (SSTs) needed. The data for this image was collected by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-EOS (AMSR/E) aboard the Aqua satellite from May 2002. Next slide

  44. Hurricanes Next slide

  45. Hurricanes Next slide

  46. Hurricanes Next slide

  47. Hurricanes Next slide The map above shows the paths of all tropical cyclones that occurred between 1985 and 2005. Tropical cyclones are also known as hurricanes. The color of each path indicates the strength of the storm (according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale).

  48. Hurricanes Next slide Average Sea Temperatures

  49. Hurricanes Watch Stronger HurricanesAired January 10, 2006 on PBS Program Description Are hurricanes becoming more intense? As M.I.T. atmospheric scientist Kerry Emanuel relates in this video, over the past half century the average strength and duration of hurricanes in the tropical regions of both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans has doubled. Sea surface temperatures have also been on the rise, likely exacerbating the situation. Will this sobering trend continue? Next slide

  50. Tornados Scientists developed this computer simulation to better understand the movement of air within the vortex of a tornado. Colored surfaces in the diagram show areas of equal air pressure, with pressure decreasing from gray through red, orange, and blue. Air inside the blue surfaces experiences the most intense upward movement. "Marker" particles that begin on the ground show various airflow paths in the tornado; the line behind each particle indicates its relative speed and direction. The simulation shows that one of the strongest parts of a vortex is where a tornado touches the ground. Examine an animation of a tornado.Keycode: ES2006 Next slide