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Teacher Questions
superstorm '93 case study project

Ben Norton writes, 12/06/96:
We are doing the case study of the superstorm of 93. Could you recommend which scaffolding activities to use with the different topics? I created a worksheet for the data collection process that I would like to Email to you as soon as I figure out how to do that. I'm still learning. You should get some questions from my kids next week.

Ben Norton,
Bergen Tech, Hackensack NJ

Response:
Hey Ben,
Here are a couple topics and activities:

1) Where does the heaviest snow fall relative to the cyclone center?

Activities:
Interpreting WX Symbols
Tracking a Cyclone

Solving the Project:
For each map over a given time period, students could mark the locations of the storm center and the position of the heaviest snow band (4-star and/or 3-star snow). This way, the could mark the track of the storm and investigate how the heaviest snow evolved over time and relative to the storm center, which would be the answer to the original question. Especially for you guys, since Noreasters are so common, if there's an approaching storm during this project, you could put this knowledge to the test where the students try and predict where the heaviest snow will fall given the present and predicted path of the Noreaster.

2) Why do the weather conditions vary from one side of the storm to the other?

Activities:
Air Masses
Anatomy of a Cyclone

Solving the Project:
From these activities, students would learn how a cyclone is made up generally of two or three air masses of different origin and properties, and depending upon which air mass a station is located, will have a significant influence on the weather at that given station. Students could identify the different air masses associated with the cyclone and which stations are located in which air masses.

3) Why did the temperature drop off slightly at station A after time T?

Activities:
Anatomy of a Cyclone
Find the Cold Front

Solving the Project:
Dramatic changes in temperature are usually associated with a frontal passage. So, learning about the anatomy of a cyclone, students are introduced to fronts, then the activity about fronts helps them learn what they are, and why there are dramatic wx changes associated with them. So to complete the project, the student may try to prove that there was the passage of a cold front through the station right about the time the temperature began to drop sharply.

These are a couple examples of how the scaffolding activities can be sequenced to prepare students for completing their project. If you want, if there are some project topics chosen by your students that you're uncertain which activities are relevant, send me the topics, and I can take a look at them and give my two cents worth....

Hope this helps...
steve

meteorologist
 Terms for using data resources. CD-ROM available. Credits and Acknowledgments for WW2010. Department of Atmospheric Sciences (DAS) atthe University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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