Weather Instrument Information

What are weather instruments?
Weather instruments are tools that track and assist with data collection of weather patterns over time.  Scientists and meteorologists utilze weather instrument tools as a concrete measuring device in order to understand the Earth's weather. 
National Weather Outlook
Why are weather instruments important?
Weather instruments allow meteorologists the ability to analyze and evaluate the data collected.  This data not only details weather over time, but it helps to predict future weather patterns.  The weather data gained from instruments allow meteorologists to track severe weather and assists with developing early warning systems for those living in areas that are hit with severe weather.  Weather instrument data provides insight into how the world's climate is changing.

Students can utilize weather instruments and collect data to understand and determine patterns in weather. The tools lend themselves to student generated characteristics of weather conditions and assists them with tracking weather.  Weather instruments are the beginning of student understanding of weather data and bridge the gap to analyzing the data gathered from weather instruments.  Students can gain first hand experience with high tech weather instruments or construct their own weather instruments in a weather unit of study.
 Contact Information:
Melanie Raso

Types of Weather Instruments:
Listed below are just some of the many weather instruments used by meteorologists to measure weather over time.
weather vane:
This instrument allows you to track the direction from which the wind blows.  It enables you to notice weather patterns.
A barometer is a weather tool that measures how high or low air pressure is.  When the air is warm the pressure is low, when the air is cool, air pressure is high.
Hygrometers are a gauge of relative humidity.  They are used to determine how much moisture is in the air.
There are 2 different types of anemometers used to measure wind.  Velocity or speed of wind can be gauged using an anemometer.  Pressure can also be measured using this tool. 
Engaging Weather Instrument with critical-thinking activities:
In order to engage students in learning about weather and climate, you must get them actively doing rather than just listening and regurgitating information.  Below you will find several actitivies to build concrete understanding of weather instruments and their usuage in the real world.  Students can then move forward and apply what they know about weather instruments with more challenging activities. 
  • Build Weather Instruments
Allow students the opportunity to build weather instruments for a weather station outside your classroom.  Students can work in collaborative groups reading and following directions on how to build weather instruments.  Each team generates a self-directed list of jobs for team members, group norms for participation and a rubric to evaluate team cooperation and construction of the weather instrument.  Teams will build reading fluency by reading directions with the Buddy Reading strategy "I read, You read".  Each team member will then restate the directions in their own words.  Upon completion of reading and understanding directions, teams will begin collecting materials provided by the teacher and constructing the weather instrument.  Finally, the team can collaborate using a teacher created Blog spot to research and gather information about characteristics of the weather instrument, usages, how the instrument can be used to predict weather, and real-world applications for the instrument.  The collaborative Blog spot can be used as a launching point to a personal product for a Weather Portfolio.
  • Weather Data Collection & Weather Forecast News Presentation
Collecting weather data over time in multiple fomats will integrate math and science concepts.  Creating tables and charts in Science Notebooks to track weather data over time is just the beginning.  Students will need to collect weather data locally and in a place of their choice.  Students can utilize a spreadsheet program to input data using technology and organize the data in multiple ways.  This data can be the foundation for other performance type assessments. Based on data collected and graphic presentation using technology, students can determine and evaluate weather patterns for their two areas.  Students can compare and constrast the two locations providing reasons for future forecasts based on data collected.  As a culminating activity, students can create a powerpoint multimedia presentation of a weather forcasting segment for a television newsbroadcast.  Audience members can generate 'thick' questions in regards to data presented in the news forcast and evaluate their peers on a student generated Weather News Forcast presentation.