Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Change in the Seasons

Howdy folks, and happy first week of Autumn/ Fall!
Tuesday was the Autumnal Equinox, a day of equal sun and dark. As this seasonal change has begun, it is a wonderful time to begin watching the weather. Anytime is a great time to watch the weather actually, but the changing seasons can offer a wide range of weather phenomenons. Keeping track of changes in the weather is a wonderful way to get together and learn about something that affects us all everyday.

Weather can be a fascinating topic to explore, especially with the use of the internet and modern satellite technology. The other wonderful thing is that you can get as complex and technologically integrated as you want: buy weather stations and online support, or keep it simple and use paper and markers.

The first thing to do is to check in with your cardinal directions. We do this because weather patterns have tendencies, and knowing where the weather tends to come from can be useful information. For the most part weather in the United States, and in most of the Northern Hemisphere, moves from west to east.

A simple way to get into watching the weather, is to watch the evening news or get online and see the upcoming forecast, and then pay attention the next day. If the forecast is for rain, watch how the clouds change through the day right up until the rain starts. Then watch the changes after the rain. Also every season has its own unique weather pattern. For example in one season, the major storm patterns might come from the south west, and then as the seasons change the pattern might switch up to a north western flow.

Also you can begin to track the basics of the weather; daily temperature, wind speed, humidity, and barometric pressure. Try and keep records for about a month. If you want to get more in-depth, go online and get the data from previous years and see if there are any differences.
So, get out there and see what the weather brings you!

Nature Nugget:
To go along with weather observations, here are the average measurements for Barometric Pressure.

1 atmosphere (atm) =

101.3 kPa (kilopascals) =

14.7 psi (pounds per square inch) =

760 torr =

29.9 inches of mercury (symbol Hg). This is the most common measurement used.

So, when the weather forecast says a high pressure system is coming in, the barometric pressure should rise above these numbers. Now these numbers are based at sea level. You will have to do some research to find out what average barometric pressure is for your area.

Weather web sites:

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