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USING RADAR TO FORECAST WEATHER
ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT INSTRUMENTS USED TO FORECAST WEATHER IS RADAR. SIGNALS ARE SENT OUT AND BOUNCE OFF PRECIPITATION AND RETURN TO THE RADAR SITE. FROM THIS, YOU WILL BE ABLE TO TELL HOW FAR AWAY THE PRECIPITATION IS; HOW INTENSE IT IS; AS WELL AS THE SPEED AND DIRECTION OF THE PRECIPITATION. LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT SOME RADAR SITES AVAILABLE AND SEE WHICH ONE YOU WOULD LIKE TO USE DURING UPCOMING STORMS.
LETS TRY THIS RADAR SITE FIRST!
1. If you want the precipitation to move, click on ( SHOW ANIMATION LOOP) at the very top of the radar map. If the entire United States is not showing, go to the top near Show Animation” and hit UNITED STATES.
2. If you want to “zero in” on a particular part of the United States, simply click on REGIONAL VIEW at the very top of the page OR CLICK ON ANY SECTION OF THE MAP.
3. Try PAN & ZOOM. You might like it!
4. During the cold weather season, RAIN shows up as GREEN. Moderate rain shows up as Yellow while heavy rain is indicated as orange or red. FREEZING RAIN OR ICE PELLETS show up as a PINK color while SNOW appears WHITE. As a result of these different colors on this radar display, it is possible to see where it is raining, how hard, where the rain is turning to sleet and freezing rain and where it is remaining all snow. This is very important when making a forecast.
MAKE SURE EACH YOUNGSTER HAS:
GIVE THEM AN ASSIGNMENT FOR HOME. SEE IF THEY CAN FIND SOME PRECIPITATION ON THE MAP. WHERE WAS IT AND IN WHICH DIRECTION WAS IT MOVING? IS IT RAIN, SNOW OR SLEET AND/OR FREEZING RAIN? IS IT LIGHT RAIN, MODERATE RAIN OR HEAVY RAIN? HAVE EACH STUDENT INTRODUCE THE RADAR TO HIS/HER PARENTS. HAVE THEM EXPLAIN TO THE PARENTS HOW IT WORKS. IT COULD BE VERY IMPORTANT IF SOME DAY SEVERE WEATHER IS APPROACHING. IT COULD SAVE LIVES!
LET STUDENTS KNOW THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS!
HERE IS A SECOND RADAR SITE!
1. Click on this: http://radar.weather.gov/ridge/Conus/full_lite.php
2. Click on “loop image”. (LOCATED IN TOP CENTER OF MAP).
3. This is a very large radar map. Please use the mouse to bring in the section of the United States that you want to examine. Scroll down the right side of the screen and also at the bottom of the screen.
4. Areas shaded in Light blue indicate very light rain, perhaps not even reaching the ground.
5. Areas shaded in Light Green indicate light rain, probably reaching the ground.
6. Areas shaded in Darker Green indicate light precipitation reaching the ground.
7. Areas shaded in Yellow indicate moderate precipitation reaching the ground.
8. Areas shaded in Red indicate heavy precipitation, could even be thunderstorms.
9. If you hit “loop image” again, it will stop the looping of the radar picture and you will only see the latest image.
10.As you loop the images, see how far the precipitation advances in one hour, a half hour. (WHEN YOU FIRST CLICK ON THE RADAR, LOOK IN THE EXTREME LOWER LEFT OF THE RADAR PICTURE. HERE YOU WILL SEE THE ACTUAL TIME EACH RADAR PICTURE WAS TAKEN. FROM THIS, YOU CAN SEE HOW MUCH TIME HAS ELAPSED AND HOW FAR THE RADAR ECHOES HAVE MOVED. See how far away from your location the precipitation actually is. Then by seeing how far the precipitation travels in one hour, you can determine EXACTLY when it will begin at your location. Try it. See how accurate you become with practice. Fourth graders can begin to do this. See if you can time it to the minute! Teacher will have to assist the youngsters in the beginning. Youngsters get the hang of it quickly. Have THE STUDENTS teach those students who are a bit slower in picking this up. Students really enjoy predicting the onset of snow to the minute.
HERE IS A THIRD RADAR SITE TO LOOK AT!
CLICK ON THIS SITE:
AT THE TOP OF THE PAGE, LOOK FOR THE WORD SEARCH. IN THE SEARCH AREA, WRITE IN THE STATE OF THE RADAR LOCATION YOU DESIRE. CITIES IN THAT STATE ARE LOCATED IN THE LEFT COLUMN. EACH CITY HAS A RADAR SITE. CLICK ON THE CITY YOU DESIRE.
THE PAGE THAT APPEARS HAS MUCH INFORMATION ON IT. ONE IS RADAR. IT IS LOCATED NEAR THE CENTER OF THE PAGE. CLICK ON LOCAL RADAR IN THE UPPER LEFT HAND CORNER OF THE MAP. CLICK ON ANIMATE MAP IF YOU WANT THE PRECIPITATION ECHOES TO MOVE.
IN THE UPPER RIGHT HAND CORNER OF THE MAP CLICK ON “REGIONAL RADAR”. THIS LETS YOU EXAMINE A LARGER AREA OF THE U.S. AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SCREEN, CLICK ANIMATE IF YOU WANT THE PRECIPITATION ECHOES TO MOVE.