toxicants of environmental health importance are transported
through the air, understanding the natural processes contributing
to air movement and weather patterns of a region is important.
For example, in some cities inversion layers trap pollutants
close to the ground. Students will examine the physical
characteristics of cold fronts and consider this information
when designing their city as a healthy environment.
Purpose – Explanation of similarities and differences
between cold fronts and their resulting precipitation.
will be able to:
1. Determine its’ direction of movement, and
list at least 5 weather conditions (e.g., cloudy behind
front) associated with the specific front, given animations
of several atmospheric variables (e.g., temperature,
rainfall) during a cold front passage.
2. List at least 3 weather conditions similar among all
CONTENT STANDARD D: Earth and Space Science
ENERGY IN THE EARTH SYSTEM
Earth systems have internal and external sources of energy,
both of which create heat. The sun is the major external
source of energy. Two primary sources of internal energy
are the decay of radioactive isotopes and the gravitational
energy from the earth’s original formation.
Heating of earth’s surface and atmosphere by
the sun drives convection within the atmosphere and
producing winds and ocean currents.
Global climate is determined by energy transfer from
the sun at and near the earth’s surface. This energy
transfer is influenced by dynamic processes such as cloud
cover and the earth’s rotation, and static conditions
such as the position of mountain ranges and oceans.
• Movement of matter between reservoirs is driven
by the earth’s internal and external sources
of energy. These movements are often accompanied by
a change in the physical and chemical properties of
the matter. Carbon, for example, occurs in:
a. carbonate rocks, such as limestone,
b. atmosphere as carbon dioxide gas,
c. water as dissolved carbon dioxide, and
d. all organisms as complex molecules which control
the chemistry of life.
Cold front passages are common events in the mid-latitudes,
especially in the Fall, Winter, and Spring. Although
all cold fronts are associated with a "parent" low-pressure
system, weather conditions before, during, and after
cold front passage may vary from one front to the next.
In this exercise, two different cold fronts are presented
to study weather characteristics of a cold front passage.
Related and Resource Websites
WxImage Software http://www.ocs.ou.edu/software/
USA Today on Cold Fronts: http://www.usatoday.com/weather/tg/wcfront/wcfront.htm
Wikipedia on Cold Front: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_front
University of Illinois on Cold Fronts: http://ww2010.atmos.uiuc.edu/(Gh)/guides/mtr/af/frnts/cfrnt/def.rxml
Windows to the Universe: http://www.windows.ucar.edu/tour/link=/earth/Atmosphere/tstorm/cold_front.html
Lesson Plan on Cold Front: http://vathena.arc.nasa.gov/curric/weather/hsweathr/fronts.html