The Weather Forecasting Forum

Teaching aids
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Author:  MikeBeckmann [ Fri Jan 23, 2004 7:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Teaching aids

I am an amateur "weather nut", currently struggling to teach a basic weather class to our local boating safety organization (Milwaukee Sail & Power Squadron). The Power Squadron class materials are generally very good, but I am having some difficulty getting the class to visualize the atmosphere in 3-D. Does anyone know of any good visual aids--either pictures or animations--that do a good job of showing the atmosphere (say, from the surface to the 300mb level) in three dimensions? (Web-based graphics would be great! ) I'm having a hard time getting the class to transit from a surface map (depicting isobars) to an upper-level chart (showing height contours). "What's it all look like?" is a common question.
Thanks for any help!

Author:  MarcC [ Fri Jan 23, 2004 11:45 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi Mike,

Even a simplified version of a skew-t might do the trick. Most people are immediately turned off when they see all the lines on this chart, but you could draw a simplified version of the skew-t that only showed the pressure gradient with height. You could use this to further explain how it is that the heights of a pressure surface will differ over areas of high and low pressure at the surface. Hope that gives you some ideas.


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