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CCSS: 6.SP.B.4, 6.SP.B.5, 7.SP.B.3, 8.SP.A.1, MP1, MP5, MP6

TEKS: 6.12A, 6.12B, 6.12C, 6.12D, 6.13A, 7.6G, 7.12A, 8.5C, 8.11A


Watching the Weather

Like it or not, the weather rules many of our everyday decisions. Luckily, finding out if you should wear rain boots or flip-flops is as easy as tapping on a weather app or flipping to the local news. But the way we predict the weather has come a long way—from kites with thermometers taking temperatures to satellites collecting imagery from space.

Today’s technology for monitoring weather is especially advanced for tracking extreme weather events, such as blizzards, heat waves, or hurricanes. “We can predict their development with a high accuracy and in a timely matter,” says Krizia Negrón. She’s a lead meteorologist at the United States National Weather Service, which is celebrating 150 years of keeping tabs on weather trends
this month.

The National Weather Service was founded on February 9, 1870. Its original mission was to support military operations. It has grown to supply the entire U.S. with weather forecasts, hazardous weather warnings, and public weather data for everyone to use. Meteorologists depend on timely data to make forecasts, says Negrón. This data helps make more accurate models, which keep people safe from dangerous weather and track our planet’s changing climate.

“By developing these techniques, we can then see trends,” says Negrón. “Now with climate change, we have seen so many changes in how the weather has behaved in the last 30 to 40 years. We’re trying to determine if this trend is going to continue.”

Google Quiz

Click the Google Quiz button below to share an interactive version of the questions with your class. Click Download PDF for the non-interactive blank answer sheet.

Download PDF

Answer the following questions using the information in the charts and graphs above. Record your work and answers on our answer sheet.

Which type of forecast has an accuracy estimated to be 80 percent?

A. 5-day

B. 7-day

C. 10-day

D. 14-day

Which type of extreme weather event was the most deadly in 2018?

A. Tornado

B. Flood

C. Heat

D. Wind

About how many people surveyed use their local TV news to find their daily forecast?

A. 197

B. 201

C. 273

D. 450

About how many more deaths due to wind occurred than deaths due to lightning in 2018?

A. 10

B. 28

C. 38

D. 46

What percent of people surveyed say they search the internet or use a specific website or app to find their daily forecast?

A. 9%

B. 13%

C. 22%

D. 33%

In what year did the Weather Service first use a weather monitoring technology that reached an altitude of 15 miles? (Hint: 1 mile = 5,280 feet)

A. 1894

B. 1909

C. 1925

D. 1960

About how many times higher is TIROS-1’s altitude than a weather aircraft’s?

About how many more people use The Weather Channel to check the weather than a newspaper?

In 2008, there were 126 fatalities due to tornadoes. What is the approximate percent change in tornado fatalities between 2008 and 2018?

Poll your class on their favorite type of weather. Customize your own poll using the Google form below. Then create a circle graph based on your results.

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