is the focus of this module?
This module is
good for building technical skills in students who are new to ETE.
It requires moderate use of the Internet and the examination of
easy-to-interpret satellite images.
This module is also useful
for engaging students in the study of remotely sensed imagery per
se. Since it deals with weather forecasting, it has relevance to
scheduled outdoor activities that students enjoy such as soccer
games, football games, and parades. Students will download hour-old
satellite weather images and data plots, interpret them, and make
forecasts. By learning to interpret weather images, students will
be equipped to understand published and broadcast weather reports,
and apply these to their daily lives. In this way, this module may
peak students' curiosity about other useful applications of remotely
is the compelling problem that students will face in this module?
Teams of students will be asked to forecast the weather up to 48
hours in advance of an outdoor event that is special to them. It
may be a local or distant event.
topics will students encounter as they work through this module?
Students will be introduced to weather fronts, high and low
pressure systems, and other variables important in weather
They will be directed to links on the Internet containing hour-old
satellite images and scientific visualizations, or data plots, of
weather systems. By using the images and weather data plots, students
will be able to construct charts depicting real weather systems
approaching local or distant areas of their choosing.
does "remotely sensed" mean? Remote sensing
is a way of collecting information about an object indirectly--without
being near the object. Every day remote sensing satellites fly high
overhead taking images of the land and sea. They "observe"
moisture in the air, the ocean's temperature, the height and shape
of waves, and even the amount of reflection off water surfaces.
Remotely sensed images
may be combined with graphics. A major feature of the "Weather
or Not?" module is the opportunity to variously combine images
and maps to get composite representations of data. By manipulating
color and animating the images, complex environmental phenomena
can be revealed.
does remotely sensed imagery improve the meteorologist's job?
Remotely sensed imagery provides a view of the earth from space.
Scientists can actually watch a weather system as it passes over
a large section of the globe and can predict with good accuracy
when locations in the system's pathway will be hit.
can one determine precisely when a satellite photo was taken?
Satellites take many pictures. How do you know you are looking
at the most recent one? How long ago was the picture taken? Most
satellite images have the time written on them, but it is in a form
that may be difficult to read. Here is a guide to finding the time.
As you know, there are
many different time zones around the globe. The one generally used
on satellite images is universal time (U.T.), also known as Zulu
time (Z), and Greenwich mean time (GMT). All three refer to the
time in London along the Greenwich Meridian. When a satellite picture
is taken, it is logged according to traditional military notation
for time (that is, the 24-hundred hour notation). So if you see
a picture taken at 0830 U.T., this means it was taken at 8:30a.m.
You can use a chart to
convert a U.T., Z, or GMT time to the zone where you live. To convert
to standard time in North America, subtract the appropriate number
of hours from the chart below. To convert to zones outside North
America, use the U.S. Naval Observatory's World
Time Zones page.
and Alleutian Islands
To get daylight saving
time, add one hour to your answer. Thus, if the satellite image
was made Friday at 1500 hours (fifteen hundred hours) Greenwich
mean time, then the time on the East Coast of the United States
was 1000 hours (10 hundred hours). If daylight saving time was in
effect, add one hour.
Checklist--have you thought of everything?
can you help students discern objects and images? You
may want to have students view satellite images of real cloud formations
before they look at remotely sensed images of warm and cold fronts
or high and low pressure areas. By comparing actual cloud patterns
from the point of view of space with data plots of weather systems,
learners will have a solid basis of visual understanding to which
an explanation of weather systems may then be correlated.
sample assignment sent in by a teacher
Students: The U.S. Soccer Team (or the sponsor of any outdoor event)
has asked your group to develop a weather forecast for a match they
have in _______(city) on _______(date).
The Soccer Team hs requested
a detailed report explaining:
1. the variables
a meteorologist might use in making a forecast;
2. the procedure and variables you used in making your forecast;
3. the enhanced satellite imagery;
4. a concept map demonstrating relationships between variables,
images, and the forecast; and,
5. the actual 24- or 48-hour forecast.
This report may be presented
in any format you choose (HTML, multimedia, video, live, written).
You will have four weeks to complete this assignment. You will work
in groups of three and use any and all resources (on or offline)
available to you.
These variables can be
checked off by the teacher as part of a rubric. The students must
demonstrate an understanding of the variables. Students will use
NIH Image to manipulate GOES imagery. Students will identify forecasting
procedures. They will make final presentations of their 24- or 48-hour
forecast for the specified event and city.
Verification of Forecast
(Self-Assessment) After the date they researched, the students will
check the actual weather data to assess and explain their degree
of accuracy. Please see the scoring