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Weather Report: Norman, Oklahoma, June 26–July 1, 2005

FOSS Newsletter Staff
September 07, 2005 | Professional Development

FOSS Weather and Water Middle School Professional Development Workshop at the University of Oklahoma

The FOSS project and Delta Education sponsored a Weather and Water workshop from June 26–July 1 in Norman, Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Climatological Survey and the University of Oklahoma provided onsite coordination for the workshop through the valuable services of Andrea Melvin.

For more information about the workshop, contact FOSS at foss@berkeley.edu. You can also view upcoming events and workshops as they are confirmed at the online FOSS Professional Development calendar.

Sunday, June 26

Weather Report

  • Temperature: 35°C (96°F)
  • Dew Point: 18°C (65°F)
  • Relative Humidity: 73%
  • Precipitation: None
  • Air Pressure: 1015 mb (29.99 in)
  • Wind Speed: 8 km/h (5 mph)
  • Wind Direction: South
  • Visibility: 13 km (8 mi)

Classroom Conditions

Participants arrive for the FOSS Weather and Water Workshop and meet for an orientation session at the Marriott Residence Inn in Norman.They leave behind many different weather conditions, including those on the Big Island of Hawaii, the East Coast (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, South Carolina), the Midwest (Michigan), the Heartland (Kansas, Oklahoma) and the West Coast (California). After a brief meeting, the group heads off to sample the local Mexican cuisine.

Group

Monday, June 27

Weather Report

  • Temperature: 35°C (96°F)
  • Dew Point: 17°C (64°F)
  • Relative Humidity: 73%
  • Precipitation: None
  • Air Pressure: 1015 mb (29.97 in)
  • Wind Speed: 16 km/h (10 mph)
  • Wind Direction: South
  • Visibility: 14 km (8 mi)

Classroom Conditions

The group carpools to the Stephenson Center at the University of Oklahoma (OU) where they begin their immersion in the FOSS Weather and Water Course. Dr. Kevin Kloesel from the OU College of Geosciences provides an introduction to meteorology and weather forecasting. Students discover that coffee is being precipitated at the building café and fortify themselves with lunch and brew for the afternoon of FOSS investigations delving into the properties of air and how solar energy fuels Earth’s weather.

Dr. Kevin Kloesel and students
Students

Tuesday, June 28

Weather Report

  • Temperature: 35°C (96°F)
  • Dew Point: 17°C (63°F)
  • Relative Humidity: 69%
  • Precipitation: None
  • Air Pressure: 1014 mb (29.97 in)
  • Wind Speed: 18 km/h (11 mph)
  • Wind Direction: South
  • Visibility: 13 km (8 mi)

Classroom Conditions

After a good night’s sleep and hearty breakfast at the Residence Inn, participants return to OU where heat transfer is the topic of the day.They puzzle over topics like density, radiation, conduction, and convection. Andrea Melvin from the Oklahoma Climatological Survey introduces the group to the Oklahoma Mesonet System, an online weather data site from which data can be downloaded and manipulated. During the demonstration of the convection chamber with its incensecreated smoke, Kevin Kloesel quietly suggests that we might want to shut down the smoke before the sprinkler system is activated over the 100 meteorologists in another workshop happening in the building atrium.

Most of the group chows down on 2-for-1 hot dogs and sodas at Oklahoma City’s Bricktown Ballpark while observing a force-and-motion demonstration with balls and bats.

Students
Students

Wednesday, June 29

Weather Report

  • Temperature: 35°C (96°F)
  • Dew Point: 17°C (67°F)
  • Relative Humidity: 73%
  • Precipitation: None
  • Air Pressure: 1015 mb (29.97 in)
  • Wind Speed: 16 km/h (10 mph)
  • Wind Direction: South
  • Visibility: 14 km (8 mi)

Classroom Conditions

The day begins within an overview of the FOSS assessment component.Then Jeff Basara, Director of Research from the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, relates his experiences with meteorological research, including stories about damage to his car from golfball-sized hail while collecting data.The rest of the day is spent exploring water-related topics, including dew point, relative humidity, clouds, and more. An afternoon field trip to the National Severe Storms Lab includes a tour of lab, the phased array radar facility (including a trip inside the Doppler radar dome), and some of the storm-chasing vehicles. Viewing a weather balloon launch caps the day and provides the opportunity to view what they had learned about in the OU classroom.

National Severe Storms Laboratory
Launching a balloon
Balloon

Thursday, June 30

Weather Report

  • Temperature: 36°C (98°F)
  • Dew Point: 17°C (63°F)
  • Relative Humidity: 73%
  • Precipitation: None
  • Air Pressure: 1012 mb (29.89 in)
  • Wind Speed: 16 km/h (10 mph)
  • Wind Direction: South
  • Visibility: 14 km (9 mi)

Classroom Conditions

Kevin Kloesel provides a riveting look at severe weather, in particular, the tornado swarm that struck the Oklahoma City area on May 3, 1999. The videos provide many images that the participants had not seen before of the actual tornadoes and the damage they wreaked.The morning continues with a tour through the water cycle in the Water Cycle Game and a closer look at air pressure and wind. Sue Jagoda of the FOSS staff challenges participants to predict what would happen to the water level in a tube when pressure is exerted on a closed system in an air-tight jar in which the bottle was placed.The group adjourns for lunch to the Sam Noble Natural History Museum where they also have a guided tour of the museum’s dinosaur exhibit and other collections.

After the tour, the students head to OU’s Sarkeys Energy Center for some hands-on time in the computer lab with the Oklahoma Mesonet system and EarthStorm, the education outreach component of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey.

Students
Students
Dinosaur exhibit

Friday, July 1

Weather Report

  • Temperature: 31°C (89°F)
  • Dew Point: 17°C (64°F)
  • Relative Humidity: 94%
  • Precipitation: No record
  • Air Pressure: 1014 mb (29.95 in)
  • Wind Speed: 14 km/h (9 mph) with gusts up to 61 km/h (38 mph)
  • Wind Direction: Southeast
  • Visibility: 15 km (9 mi)
  • Events: Rain, thunderstorm (6:12 a.m.)

Classroom Conditions

Friday begins with a return to the computer lab and an introduction to Mesonet’s WeatherScope software. With the thunderstorm and wind passing through the area early that morning, everyone is particularly interested in viewing the radar and other weather data for that time of day using the WeatherScope software.

Back at the Stephenson Center, Daphne Zaras, a meteorologist and part-time storm chaser, enthralls the group with stories and videos of her tornado-chasing adventures and escapades. At lunch, Derek Arndt, the Acting State Climatologist for Oklahoma, engages participants in a discussion about the evidence for global warming. Afterwards, students revisit the Water Cycle Game, only this time with the effect of global warming added. Formal instruction ends with a quick review of weather and climate in the last investigation.

That evening the group is treated to a traditional Kickapoo frybread and buffalo taco dinner at the home of Terry Shaw, one of the FOSS workshop presenters, and his wife Thelia (shown in the picture below, from left to right, with chefs Marcella Winsea and Kathy Cademan, Thelia, and Terry Shaw).To work off the wonderful food, students go on a backyard spider hunt and collect barite roses, Oklahoma’s state rock.

Group
Cake

Saturday, July 2

Weather Report

  • Temperature: 33°C (93°F)
  • Dew Point: 18°C (66°F)
  • Relative Humidity: 88%
  • Precipitation: Trace
  • Air Pressure: 1014 mb (29.94 in)
  • Wind Speed: 8 km/h (5 mph)
  • Wind Direction: Southeast
  • Visibility: 15 km (9 mi)
  • Events: Rain

Classroom Conditions

Morning dawns with lightning and thunder as the participants begin their journeys back to their local climates, full of information and ideas to bring back to their classrooms and fellow teachers in the fall.The FOSS Weather and Water workshop is deemed a success by all involved, with ideas for the “next time” already starting to condense.

Lightning