Scientific and Engineering Practices
Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information; Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Cause and Effect
- Qualitative scientific and technical information may include weather maps, diagrams, and visualizations, including radar and computer simulations.
- Qualitative scientific information may be obtained through laboratory experiments.
- Weather is the condition of the atmosphere as defined by temperature, pressure, humidity, precipitation, and wind.
- An air mass is a large body of air with uniform temperature, moisture, and pressure.
- Air masses flow from regions of high pressure to low pressure, causing weather at a fixed location to change over time.
- Sudden changes in weather can result when different air masses collide.
- The distribution and movement of air masses can be affected by landforms, ocean temperatures, and currents.
- Relationships exist between observed, large-scale weather patterns and the location or movement of air masses, including patterns that develop between air masses (e.g., cold fronts may be characterized by thunderstorms).
- Due to the complexity and multiple causes of weather patterns, probability must be used to predict the weather.*Local atmospheric conditions (weather) may be monitored by collecting data on temperature, pressure, humidity, precipitation, and wind.
- Instruments may be used to measure local weather conditions. These instruments may include, but are not limited to, thermometers, barometers, and anemometers.
- Weather events, specifically severe weather, can be predicted based on weather patterns.
- Severe weather may include, but is not limited to, fronts, thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, ice storms, and droughts.
Students are able to:
- Make a claim, to be supported by evidence, to support or refute an explanation or model for a given phenomenon, including the idea that motions and complex interactions of air masses result in changes in weather conditions.
- Identify evidence to support the claim from the given materials including qualitative scientific and technical information.
- Evaluate the evidence for its necessity and sufficiency for supporting the claim.
- Determine whether the evidence is sufficient to determine causal relationships between the motions and complex interactions of air masses and changes in weather conditions.
- Consider alternative interpretations of the evidence and describe why the evidence supports the claim they are making, as opposed to any alternative claims.
- Use reasoning to connect the evidence and evaluation to the claim that motions and complex interactions of air masses result in changes in weather conditions.
- Use instruments to collect local weather data.
- Monitor local weather data.
- Use patterns observed from collected data to provide causal accounts for weather events and make predictions.
Students understand that:
- The complex patterns of the changes and the movement of water in the atmosphere, determined by winds, landforms, and ocean temperatures and currents, are major determinants of local weather patterns. Because these patterns are so complex, weather can only be predicted based on probability.
- Instruments may be used to monitor local weather.
- Weather patterns can be used to predict weather events.
- Qualitative scientific information
- Technical information
- Weather map
- Air mass
- Weather patterns
- Severe weather