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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Apologia Physical Science, Module 7, Factors that Affect Earth's Weather

Interactive Study Links
• Create an account and make your own flashcards at!
• How clouds are formed. (interactive)
• An Interactive site about identifying cloud types.
• What is the recipe for weather? (interactive)
Visualizing Seasons - click Continue to Interactive

Other Study Links
Coriolis Effect (experiment) is on p. 87-91 of this NASA Planetary Geology PDF.
Due to additional pages at the beginning of the document and various pages missing here and there, it took me about 3 tries to figure out I needed to type in to print p. 83-87.  
• Hot and Cold (experiment) - looks awesome!  Debbie said, "Nice activity for learning about ocean water/currents or density of air masses."
"Luke Howard: The Man Who Named Clouds" (to read) - the beginning of the classification of clouds.  Really interesting!  Love the "mare's tails" to describe cirrus clouds.
Understanding High and Low Pressures (to read) - great, simple explanation

►For Experiment 7.1, A Long-Term Weather Experiment,
• You can go to and type in your zip code.  Enter the date you need, and read the results to fill in your weather table.
(You may use Debbie's Weather Experiment Data Collection Sheet)
• Barometer pressures for that date will be located at the bottom.  Find the high and low.
(To see what your weather will be, look at the clouds directly overhead.)

To help with cloud identification:
• Cloud ID Chart - concise, with diagram of altitudes, a good starter page
Clouds - simple but thorough, with really good pics

See these and more at Debbie's Educator's Resources.  (Thanks, Debbie!)

(1) p. 157-160, Clouds

►See images for mare's tail clouds.  These cirrus clouds are wispy.  Cirrus clouds are the highest in the sky and are always thin since they are formed by a thin layer of ice crystals.
►See images for "mackerel sky" - which is a sky with cirrucumulous clouds.  These are formed when cirrus clouds begin to clump together and start to descend.

Chopped for relevancy to Module 7.
Full video in Module 8. (original title Predicting Weather from NASA)

Climate & Weather - from NASA

(2) p. 162-166, Earth's Thermal Energy

What Causes Earth's Seasons?

Climate, Seasons, Regions

What doesn't cause earth's seasons?
The seasons are not caused by how far the earth is from the sun.  The earth revolves around the sun in a slightly elliptical path (very slightly oval).  The difference is small enough to not cause any great change in seasons, but the tilt of the earth is enough.
Try holding your hand in front of a light bulb or a strong flashlight for a minute.  Then angle your hand so that part of it is tilted further away from the light.  Feel the difference.

► See image of the angles the sun hits at various points on the earth. (source)
You can see where the sun hits at 90º.

(3) p. 166-167, Latitude and Longitude

Longitude lines

Latitude and Longitude

(4) p. 167-172, Uneven Thermal Energy Distribution


How Weather Occurs - from NASA
"As warm air rises in the atmosphere, it expands and cools." -- adiabatic cooling.

The Coriolis Effect 
This demonstration is like viewing the earth from above, from either pole.

Coriolis Effect Experiment

(5) p. 173-177, Air Masses

►Video about the different types of air masses

Weather Fronts - EXCELLENT!


  1. Thanks! It helps ME as much as the kids. =)

  2. Thanks for doing all the hard work. Some of the videos are not working any plans of updating?

  3. You're welcome.
    I apologize for some of the videos not working. It seems they have been removed from youtube by the person who uploaded them. When that happens, they won't play on my blog or anywhere else either. =( Which leaves me stuck with trying to remember exactly what videos I had put here. =(
    I will make a note to get back to this post sometime, but it is difficult to find time right now. Thanks for letting me know! =)

  4. Marty, thank you SO much for making this available for all of us. I have used your site more than once. Mary :)

    1. You're welcome! And thanks for commenting - comments are always an encouragement. =)

  5. I am using your website as I teach this class at co op. I would not survive without it. Thanks so much!!! Sarah Margheim


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