Earth Science Directory: Meteorology Education Guide

Most kids can describe the basic types of weather. For instance, they would likely describe a thunderstorm as having a lot of rain, wind, lightening, and thunder. Depending on location, he or she may have seen a hurricane, blizzard, or even a tornado. While many kids can identify several types of weather conditions, they may not know what causes them. The following answers some common questions about weather and provides more resources for kids who are curious about meteorology.

Q: What is weather?

A: The atmospheric conditions in the environment around us are known as the weather. Weather can change on a daily basis. There may be rain one day and extreme heat the next.


Q: Where does weather come from?

A: Weather comes from the circulation of warm and cold air. It also comes from high and low pressure systems in the atmosphere. Various pressure systems cause changes in the weather.


Q: How do rainbows happen?

A: Rainbows are a combination of water and light. When sunlight moves through a gathering of raindrops they reflect the different colors of a rainbow. The colors of a rainbow are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.


Q: Why do we have seasons?

A: The earth has a northern hemisphere and a southern hemisphere. As the earth goes around the sun, it's tilted on its axis. When the northern hemisphere tilts toward the sun, it's summer in that hemisphere. When it is summer in the northern hemisphere, it's winter in the southern hemisphere because that part of the earth is tilted away from the sun. As the earth moves, the seasons change in the hemispheres.


Q: What causes thunder?

A: Thunder occurs in the path of a lightning bolt. The loud sound of thunder happens when pockets of air are quickly expanding and shrinking during a storm. Vibrations in the air combined with the air's extremely hot temperature are what cause the loud cracking sounds of thunder.


Q: What causes lightning?

A: Lightning happens in the violent conditions of a thunderstorm. When small pieces of ice (way up in the sky) in a thunderstorm hit against one another positive and negative electrical charges are created. Some of these electrical charges swirl upward while others move toward the ground. Lightning happens when the positive and negative charges separate a certain distance from one another.


Q: What is global warming?

A: Global warming refers to the gradual rise in the average temperature of the atmosphere of the earth and its oceans. Some scientists say that the earth warms and cools naturally. Other scientists say that global warming is happening because of man-made pollution.


Q: Why is the sky blue?

A: There are particles and molecules traveling all around us in the air. When sunlight hits these particles, blue light radiates out. Sunlight hitting these particles is what causes the sky to look blue.


Q: What causes the colors in the sunset and sunrise?

A: The colors of red and orange are often seen in a sunset. The rays of a sunset have to travel a long way to meet the eyes of humans. Consequently, the color of blue is filtered out leaving reds and oranges. Also, there are more particles in the air during sunsets that create richer colors. At sunrise, the particles in the air are smaller and fewer in number which means the colors aren't as brilliant as those seen during sunset.


Q: What are clouds?

A: Clouds are made when many water droplets gather together. Clouds can help meteorologists to predict the weather. Cirrus, stratus, and cumulus are some of the different types of clouds.



Kids Learn about Weather: Kids can find information about tornadoes, floods, storms, temperature, weather vocabulary, and much more!

Weather Facts for Kids: Discover some hands-on, weather-related activities for kids, play some weather games, and read some stories about occurrences of severe weather.

All about the Weather: Learn about the features of tornadoes, hurricanes, lightening, and find out about the job of a storm chaser.

Create the Weather: Try an activity where a kid gets to "create" the weather.

The Work of a Climatologist: Check out the elements involved in the study of climatology and the types of questions they deal with.

The Different Types of Weather: Learn about tornadoes, thunderstorms and other weather events by reading facts and participating in fun activities.

Weather Information from a Meteorologist: A well-known meteorologist (expert on weather) offers basic facts about weather along with a look at more specific weather topics.

Clouds, Temperature, and Weather: Find out about clouds, precipitation and other aspects of the weather with the help of a fun character.

Weather Activities: Look at some weather games that are based on topics such as climate change and global warming.

A Selection of Weather Games: Kids can learn more about different types of weather by choosing from this collection of games and printables.

Weather Activities and Games: Find some fun weather games for kids including one that allows players to predict the weather.

Learning about the Water Cycle: Discover facts about the water cycle with the help of an entertaining character.

Studying the Weather: Check out the facts on weather, the tides, the seasons and more with these photos, facts, and games.


The Meteorology Page: Kids learn about the different elements of meteorology.

Lessons on the Weather: Find some fun characters that help to teach kids about the weather.

Project Weather: Teachers find a project that helps students learn how weather conditions can be measured and more!

Lesson Plans with a Weather Theme: A selection of weather lesson plans for teachers includes topics such as storms, weather on various planets, and comprehending the basics of weather studies.

Weather Lessons: Discover a selection of weather lessons divided into categories such as warm fronts, cold fronts, clouds, thunderstorms, and more!

Educational Weather Activities for Students: Teachers will find several learning activities for a weather lesson including a look at appropriate clothing to wear for certain types of weather and how to read a weather map.

Weather and Satellites: Find resources related to satellite meteorology for middle school students and older kids.

A Variety of Lessons with a Weather Theme: Weather observations, understanding weather conditions, and facts about clouds are among the lessons available.

Resources on the Basics of Weather: Teachers will find weather vocabulary resources as well as resources on topics such as precipitation, temperature, and clouds to enhance a lesson on the weather.

Helping Students Understand the Weather: A straightforward explanation of what influences the weather is offered to teachers.

Weather Details Explained: Check out various topics such as hurricanes, severe storms, winds, and more to help students have a thorough understanding of the elements of weather.

Weather Topics and Lessons: Teachers select a weather topic and find information about it to relay to students.

Weather Safe!

Kids Preparing for Emergencies: Find materials and activities that help kids to prepare for emergencies.

Occurence of a Hurricane: Look at the various aspects of a hurricane including the elements of one along with the story of some survivors of a hurricane.

Tornado-Related Projects: View some projects that help kids learn more about tornadoes.

Kids and Sun Safety: Kids may study ways that they can stay safe while enjoying the sun.

Kids and Severe Weather Safety Information: Learn about outdoor safety, drills, and other practices to keep kids safe in the event of severe weather.

Lightening Safety Facts and Information: Find lots of resources on the topic of lightening safety that includes facts and statistics.

Safety Scenarios for a Variety of Severe Weather Events: Choose a weather event such as a tornado, hurricane or severe heat event and look at the various safety advice related to each one.

A Weather Club: Learn about weather safety via a safety club for kids.

Educational Games for Kids with a Weather Theme: A crossword puzzle, coloring pages, and a jigsaw puzzle are among the games that teach kids about weather safety.

Defining Weather Conditions: Find a glossary of weather conditions and learn more details about them. Some examples include freezing rain and hypothermia under the heading of 'winter storms'.

Severe Weather Explained: Find information for kids from a weather expert.

Severe Weather Safety: A word search and crossword puzzle are just a few of the activities that accompany this information about severe weather.

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