Southern AERA Quarterly Activity Bulletin of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources- Southeast Regional Climate Center
Volume 2, No. 1
FSU METEOROLOGY PRE-COLLEGE OUTREACH
Over the past four years, Florida EXPLORES! has become one of the premiere university-directed K-12 outreach programs in the nation. The directors, employees, and teacher and student participants, as well as the general public, are now reaping the benefits of this outreach effort. What began as four demonstration direct readout weather satellite ground stations in 1992, now in some way touches thousands of people around the world each day. The EXPLORES! family currently consists of 135 direct readout ground stations in Florida public and private schools, the FSU Meteorology Department, the Florida State Climate Center, the FSU Department of Curriculum and Instruction, FSU Department of Science Education, Early Childhood and Elementary Education, the Florida Science FEAT program, Brevard Community College, NASA Space Camp, science, industry, and technology museums statewide, marine science centers, the Tropical Prediction Center, the Southern Region of the National Weather Service, AMS's Project Atmosphere, the Texas Space Grant Consortium and the international education community via the World Wide Web. EXPLORES! has become the largest single education outreach program of its type in the nation.
The EXPLORES! program seeks to implement the NOAA Direct Readout Satellite Program into science and related subjects classrooms. Project goals include using real time data for classroom in teaching and research initiatives in the earth and physical sciences (many in collaboration with academic researchers), and improving collaboration with and use of other existing statewide projects such as the Florida Student Weather Network (FSWN) and Florida Information Resource Network. The program trains teachers to apply technology in the classroom, particularly material related to weather satellite imagery. Teachers learn the "how-to's" of content acquisition of meteorological data, as well as its application to the earth, environmental, and space sciences.
For more information on the EXPLORES! program, please contact Kevin Kloesel, FSU, Department of Meteorology, 404 Love Bldg., Mail Code B-161, Tallahassee, FL 32306-3038, Phone (904) 644-3417, or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tornadoes are violent rotating columns of air extending from cumulonimbus clouds, with wind speeds that can exceed 200 mph. The spring season is a notorious time of the year for the development of tornadoes in the Southeast United States. Tornadoes can occur year round at any given time or place when certain conditions are favorable. The following activity allows students to gain knowledge about tornadoes, such as their formation and warnings associated with them, along with safety measures to help save lives.
1. During what season does your area receive the most storm activity? Why do you think that is so?
2. What does it mean if a tornado watch has been issued for your area? What does it mean if a tornado warning has been issued? What should you do in each case?
3. The table below is the Fujita Tornado Scale. This scale is used to determine the strength of tornadoes. Which Fujita Number is given to storms that produce the most damage? The least?
4. Several key atmospheric phenomena may signal tornado formation. Many observations can be made to determine the vulnerability of a particular area to receive damage from tornadoes. Fill in the blanks in the table below with the words "concerned," or "unconcerned" for the listed atmospheric situations which may make you concerned or not that your area is threatened.
5. When severe weather threatens, you must take precautions to save your life. After each statement circle the appropriate answer on what action you should take if ever in a threatening weather situation.
6. Draw a picture of a tornado below. Be sure to include it passing by buildings and uprooting trees. What Fujita Torando Scale rating will you give your tornado?
7. The table below lists tornado statistics for the Southeast United States. Which state has the most tornadoes? What could be the cause of so many tornadoes in Florida? Now look at the death rate and compare it to North Carolina's death rate. Why do you think the death rate in Florida is less than in North Carolina?
Tornado Statistics by State From 1953 - 1990
STATE TOTAL GREATEST LEAST TOTAL OF TOTAL TORNADOES YEAR YEAR TORNADO NUMBER OF DAYS DEATHS ALABAMA 807 45 in 1983 5 in 1956 425 237 FLORIDA 1706 97 in 1975 10 in 1956 1090 70 GEORGIA 761 46 in 1974 2 in 1987 417 76 NORTH CAROLINA 478 38 in 1973 2 in 1970 294 79 SOUTH CAROLINA 347 23 in 1973 1 in 1986 228 43 VIRGINIA 228 22 in 1975 1 in 1982 153 19
Weather and Climate Resources for the Classroom
Southern AER is a quarterly publication of the Southeast Regional Climate Center. Funding is provided by a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
1st Annual Southern Weather Awareness Conference
On April 27, 1996, the Southern Weather Awareness Committee met in Atlanta, GA for an initial meeting to plan a weather awareness conference for educators and community leaders in the region. The committee is made up of Resource Agents from southern states, representatives from the Weather Channel, and representatives from the Southeast and Southern Regional Climate Centers. The conference has been planned for February 15, 1997 at Eau Gallie High School in Melbourne, FL. Please put it on your calendars. Everyone is encouraged to attend. If anyone has any ideas for the conference or would like to help in planning, please contact Sandi St.Claire at (803) 737-0800. Look for updates from the committee in future issues of Southern AER.
Permission is granted for the reproduction of materials contained is this publication.
Southeast Regional Climate Center
S.C. Department of Natural Resources
1201 Main Street, Suite 1100
Columbia, South Carolina 29201
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, disability, religion, or age. Direct all inquiries to the Office of Human Resources, P.O. Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202.