Select maps for your state. Maps
should show two different air masses within the state. A good
example is when a cold front is moving across the state, preferably
with continental polar and maritime tropical air masses.
(If unavailable, Oklahoma maps are available at the addresses
listed in the materials section)
Divide the class into groups of 3 or 4 students.
Distribute Protocol Sheets and allow students time to
complete as you walk around assisting.
When the students circle the warm, cool, moist, and dry
regions, be sure they do not use small circles around
only a few stations. Try to get them to see a large region
(e.g., ½ or ¼ of
the state) as warm or cool, moist or dry.
may need to be reminded that dew point temperature is an
indication of the moisture amount in the air.
students with the following
1. Obtain one temperature map and one dew-point temperature
map for each student in your group.
2. Contour the temperature map and dew point map every
3. Circle the region on your map containing the warmest
temperature readings. Use a red pencil.
4. Circle the region on your map containing the coolest
temperature readings. Use a blue pencil.
Circle the region on your map, containing
the highest dewpoint temperatures. Use a green pencil.
6. Circle the region on your map containing the lowest
dew point temperatures. Use a brown pencil.
Where are the warmest temperatures? Are the dew points
high or low in this region? Label this region A.
2. Where are the coolest temperatures? Are the dew points
high or low in this region? Label this region B.
If you were to describe the regions as "warm and
dry", "warm and moist", "cool and dry",
or "cool and moist", how would you describe region
A? Region B?
The Northern Hemisphere can be divided into three "latitudinal" regions:
the polar region, between 0°N and 30°N,
b. the middle latitudes, between 30°N and 60°N,
c. the tropics, between 60°N and 90°N.
do you think the air in region A came from? Why? Region
5. What do you think causes air to be moist or dry? Why?
6. How specific can you get predicting where a region
of air is originally from?
How can you predict these regions? What does this say
about how "air masses" are formed?
8. Based on our class data and discussions, what can you
say about the source and characteristics of the air which
covers large state regions?
observations using the discussion sheet provided. You
may want each group of students to write their answers before
discussing them with the class. Ask students to research
the air masses which apply to their home town. How
might these impact environmental health issues?