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Observe and Predict the Weather

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Basics on the topic Observe and Predict the Weather

Observing the Weather – Explained for Elementary School

Have you ever heard of weather proverbs? Before there were measuring devices and weather stations, people had to observe nature closely if they wanted to learn something about the weather. By observing the behavior of animals or the reactions of plants, farmers made up rules that generalized weather patterns, which are often called weather proverbs. One of these rules, for example, states:

If the swallow flies high, then the weather will be dry.

Through such observations, the weather cannot be predicted exactly, but hints can be found about how the weather is changing. Swallows do fly higher when the weather is good. They are following insects, their food, which are also flying at higher altitudes during nice weather.

Folk weather rules are no longer necessary today to predict the weather. Nevertheless, they can remind you that it is exciting to explore and observe nature yourself.

How Can You Observe the Weather?

Here is how you can observe the weather by looking at the sky.

  • You can observe the clouds. If the sky is cloudless and blue, the weather typically stays nice. Denser clouds can indicate a change in weather, and if you see dark clouds, rain, or a thunderstorm may be coming.

  • You can also feel the wind yourself. For example, if you want to know which direction the wind is blowing, you can wet your finger with water and hold it up in the air. The side of the finger from which the wind is blowing feels cooler.

  • You cannot determine the exact temperature without measuring devices, but you can feel it. How does your nose feel, warm or cold? You can read the exact temperature on a thermometer.

You can write down your observations in a weather diary. It could look like this, for example:

Monday Observations
Clouds - Blue sky
Wind direction - No wind
Temperature - Very warm
Rain - No rain
Tuesday Observations
Clouds - Cloudy
Wind direction - Light westerly wind
Temperature - A bit cooler
Rain - Rain in the evening

Based on your observations, you can try to predict the weather yourself and compare your prediction with the weather report. Do you know how weather reports are created?

How Can You Predict the Weather?

With the help of modern technology, the weather can be predicted. In order for these predictions to be as accurate as possible, there are professionals who take care of it. What are the people called who predict the weather? They are called meteorologists. These weather professionals use weather stations or weather satellites to observe the weather. They also use various measuring instruments, such as weather balloons. Based on their observations, they then create the weather forecast for the next few days.

In the picture, you can see a weather station on a vineyard:

SEO_25881_26390_Weatherstation.svg

But why are weather forecasts not always accurate? Why can't the weather be predicted exactly? The weather all over the world influences each other. Since no satellite can measure all values on Earth, in the atmosphere, and in the oceans, the measured values are always slightly inaccurate. These slight deviations can then lead to larger weather changes that were not anticipated. That's why it might rain a few hours later than predicted, or the wind might be slightly stronger than thought.

Transcript Observe and Predict the Weather

That looks like a delicious picnic, Uma! But there are clouds in the sky; will it rain? Let's take a closer look at how to observe and predict the weather. Meteorologists are weather experts who watch the weather every day. To create weather forecasts for the next day, they use weather stations or weather satellites. They even use different weather tools, such as a weather balloon! In the past, when there were no weather stations, people depended on observing nature closely. Farmers were able to recognize the behaviors of animals or plants as weather changed. They wrote down their observations in so-called farmers rules. For example: If the swallow flies high, the weather will be dry! That even rhymes! Swallows fly lower to the ground when it is damp, or might be about to rain, because that is where insects, their food, like to be! Flowers, like daisies, often close their flowers in rain to protect them. Even though farmers do not observe weather like this anymore, it reminds us that we can observe nature for clues. We can do this by looking closely, listening, or smelling! Let's watch the clouds in the sky. What can you see here? The sky is cloudless the weather will stay beautiful! What about here? The clouds are denser, so the weather might be about to change! If there are many dark clouds in the sky, like this, there will probably be rain, or even thunderstorms! Look outside, how does the sky look by you? Let us know in the comments! Clouds are not the only way you can observe weather. To know which way the wind blows, you can wet your finger with water, and hold it in the air! The side where the wind blows will feel colder than any other side. However, you can only approximately sense the temperature without measuring devices. For example, you can use your nose. It might feel cold or warm, depending on the temperature! But, to read the exact temperature, you will need to use a thermometer. You can make your own weather diary with all this data from your observations on clouds, wind direction, and temperature. You can also add if if it rains, so you can become a weather expert yourself! I wonder if Uma's picnic will still happen? Of course, Uma has found some cover from the rain, and she even has company!

8 comments
8 comments
  1. The same weather as you Browne

    From Zara Zoe, 8 months ago
  2. The same

    From Zara Zoe, 8 months ago
  3. clear

    From Isaac, 9 months ago
  4. black i see outside

    From Brayan CAPYBARA, 9 months ago
  5. Rainy,

    From Dale, about 1 year ago
More comments

Observe and Predict the Weather exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learned? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Observe and Predict the Weather.
  • What is another name for a weather expert?

    Hints

    Cardiologist is a doctor who treats heart diseases.

    Geologist is an expert who studies the history of the earth through rocks.

    Pharmacist is an expert who prepares medicines in a pharmacy.

    Solution

    Meteorologists are weather experts who watch the weather every day.

    To create weather forecasts for the next day, they use weather stations or weather satellites.

  • What are some ways weather has been predicted by humans throughout time?

    Hints

    Farmers used to write down their observations in so-called farmer's rules.

    Swallows fly lower to the ground when it is damp, or might be about to rain, because that is where insects, their food, like to be.

    Your nose feels cold when the temperature is low.

    Solution

    If the swallow flies high, the weather will be dry.

    If the swallow flies lower, it will rain.

    Farmers used to write down their weather observations in weather journals called farmer's rules.

    Some flowers close their petals to protect them from the rain.

    If your nose feels cold, the temperature is low.

  • How can your senses help you to predict the weather?

    Hints

    Use your sense of sight to observe the sky in the picture.

    Do you see any clouds?

    If not, what does this mean?

    If there are dark clouds in the sky, it will probably rain.

    Solution

    Using your sense of sight and looking at the picture, you will see a clear, cloudless sky. You can predict that the weather will probably be sunny with no rain.

  • How can you tell which way the wind blows?

    Hints

    If we wet a finger and hold it in the air, our sense of touch will tell us the directions of the wind.

    One of the sides of the finger will feel colder and this is the side from where the wind blows.

    Solution

    We can use our senses to determine the way the wind blows.

    To do so, we wet a finger.

    We hold the wet finger in the air.

    The side of the finger, from where the wind blows, feels colder.

  • How can your senses help you to predict the weather?

    Hints

    Your eyes help you to see the world around you.

    Your nose can sense cold.

    Solution

    You know that the weather is about to rain, when you see some birds flying lower to the ground.

    When you see a cloudless sky, you know it won't rain.

    Your nose might feel cold or warm depending on the temperature.

  • What was the weather like on Saturday?

    Hints

    Uma recorded dense clouds on Wednesday but no clouds on Saturday.

    There was no wind on Tuesday.

    Solution

    According to Uma's weather diary, we can see that the weather on Saturday was beautiful.

    The sky was cloudless, there was no wind, and the temperature was high.