The Science of Weather

The Science of Weather Photo Credit: Clipart.com
Weather is a pretty safe topic of conversation. After all, it's always doing something outside ... or might do something soon. It's too hot or it's too cold or it's too beautiful to stay inside. Luckily, the science behind the natural forces that cause the weather is pretty interesting. So next time you find yourself thinking about extreme weather events or just that string of rainy days, turn to these resources to learn more.
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  • The Warmth of the Sun

    The Warmth of the Sun

    K-2  |  Hands-On
    Students will take a closer look at the sun and begin to recognize its critical function in heating and warming the air, land, and water that sustain our lives.
  • Hurricanes 1: The Science of Hurricanes

    Hurricanes 1: The Science of Hurricanes

    3-5  |  Video
    This lesson introduces students to the science of hurricanes in an effort to highlight how forces change the speed and direction of motion.
  • Measuring Cloud Coverage

    Measuring Cloud Coverage

    3-5  |  Hands-On
    In this lesson, students review what clouds are and then use fractions to describe cloud coverage.
  • Properties of Air

    Properties of Air

    3-5  |  Hands-On
    This lesson demonstrates that air takes up space, and puts pressure, or pushes, on everything around it.
  • The Water Cycle

    The Water Cycle

    3-5  |  Hands-On
    This lesson will help students understand the continuous cycle that water undergoes as it changes form.
  • El Niño

    El Niño

    6-8  |  Audio
    This lesson will help students understand that El Niño is caused by changes in the atmospheric and ocean content.
  • Air Masses

    Air Masses

    In this lesson, students develop an understanding of air masses and the role they play in weather and climate.
  • Abrupt Climate Change

    Abrupt Climate Change

    In this lesson, students explore how scientific knowledge changes in the context of abrupt climate change.


  • Tsunamis: Know What to Do!

    Tsunamis: Know What to Do!

    K-5  |  Video
    This short film from the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services explains the basic concepts of tsunamis and safety preparedness.
  • Science of a Tsunami

    Science of a Tsunami

    6-12  |  Video
    This video from CBS News, covers the most recent tsunami that hit Samoa in 2009 and includes animation of how the earth's plates move under the ocean.
  • About Rainbows

    About Rainbows

    6-12  |  Website
    This tutorial helps to clarify what rainbows are and how they are made.
  • WeatherSchool @ AAAS

    WeatherSchool @ AAAS

    6-8  |  Interactive
    Explore how different factors work together to produce both your local community's day-to-day weather and the overall climate for your region of the world.

Science Updates

  • Cyclone Drift

    Cyclone Drift

    6-12  |  Audio
    Cyclones have been peaking in intensity closer and closer to the poles over the last 30 years.
  • Dangerous Hail

    Dangerous Hail

    6-12  |  Audio
    Every year, tornadoes, hurricanes, and snowstorms claim lives and cause injuries. But strangely, hailstorms, which pelt the ground with hard balls of ice, never seem to hit human targets. This Science Update examines the reasons why this happens.
  • Earth Simulator

    Earth Simulator

    6-12  |  Audio
    Learn how scientists are using the Earth Simulator, the most powerful supercomputer on the planet, to model Earth's climate.
  • Florida Freezes

    Florida Freezes

    6-12  |  Audio
    Draining a wetland can change local weather.
  • Globetrotting Swells

    Globetrotting Swells

    6-12  |  Audio
    Scientists are learning how weather around the world is interconnected.
  • Flowers & Rainfall

    Flowers & Rainfall

    6-12  |  Audio
    Flowering plants keep the world cooler and wetter than it would be otherwise.
  • Mountain Rain

    Mountain Rain

    6-12  |  Audio
    This Science Update explores why pollution from cities could dry out nearby mountains.
  • Ping-Pong Avalanches

    Ping-Pong Avalanches

    6-12  |  Audio
    In this Science Update, you'll hear how ping-pong balls may help predict the path of a deadly snow avalanche.
  • West Nile Weather

    West Nile Weather

    6-12  |  Audio
    In this Science Update, hear how scientists have found a way to predict the severity of a West Nile outbreak for the year.
  • Zapping Fish

    Zapping Fish

    6-12  |  Audio
    In this Science Update, learn why fish don't get electrocuted when lightning strikes the water.


  • Hurricanes


    This collection of Science NetLinks lessons and resources will help teachers and students learn more about hurricanes, wind, and other weather.
  • Earth Science Week

    Earth Science Week

    This collection celebrates earth science, a broad field of study that explores the way the forces of our planet intersect.
  • Climate Change

    Climate Change

    This collection of resources offers insights into the basics of climate change, as well as some of the most recent research.

AAAS Resources

Professional development
Eric Walters, chair of the science department at The Marymount School of New York, penned this winning essay in the 2007 AAAS/Subaru Essay Writing Competition. It discusses a class he set up for his high school students.

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