Project Handbook
superstorm '93 case study project

Statement of Purpose:
Case Study of SuperStorm '93 is an Internet-based weather curriculum for 9-12 grade students. This project investigates weather processes and phenomena associated with a potent winter storm.

Project Objectives:
Students will learn to work with archived weather data, recording observations and analyzing trends in the data in order to construct a culminating project idea. Students complete selected scaffolding activities that will best equip them with the skills necessary to finish their project.

Meteorological phenomena and concepts available for students to investigate include: atmospheric pressure, Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), interpreting weather maps, low pressure centers, identifying fronts, air masses associated with midlatitude cyclones, role of fronts in development of precipitation and the anatomy of a midlatitude cyclone.

Project Overview:
The targeted duration for a complete case study is 2-3 weeks class time, though the scaffolding activities may be used independently for those who are restricted to smaller time frames. The curriculum begins with students accessing selected archived weather images and collecting surface observational data for temperature, dew point temperature, wind speed and direction and weather conditions (weather symbols) for three cities. It is suggested that students choose cities in different quadrants of the storm (one north, one south and one directly in the storm's path), to gain a better understanding of the varying weather conditions from one side of a cyclone to the other. Culminating project ideas are constructed from the data (a list of suggested project questions are provided).

Students engage in scaffolding activities, to learn the skills and meteorological "know how" necessary for completing the culminating project. Each activity requires (on average) 90 minutes of class time. Students will typically need to complete two or three scaffolding activities for most projects.

Students need to be comfortable using a web browser and working with data is a plus. Necessary meteorology resources are available to students through direct links strategically inserted into the curriculum pages.

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

start up activity