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Department of Agronomy

Kansas State University

1712 Claflin Rd.

2004 Throckmorton PSC

Manhatan, KS 66506

785-532-6101

agronomy@ksu.edu

Extension Agronomy

Resources for weather education at home - All ages and skill levels


School classrooms are closed. The spring Storm Spotter trainings were cancelled.  How can we get our weather education fix? The National Weather Service has a number of products available for a wide range of age groups, interest levels, and expertise.

A nice feature of all of these sites are that they are advertisement free and have been reviewed for scientific accuracy. The following are websites included in this overview and have an accompanying description.

Skill level - Resource:

Children’s resources - SciJinks

Annual spotter talk - NWS Memphis Youtube

Beginner for weather enthusiasts - JetStream

Very advanced for the weather savvy – Comet MetEd

 

Children’s resources - SciJinks

If you are interested in a playful resource geared for kids, check out SciJinks at https://scijinks.gov/.  This is a resource developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA).  In addition to explanations of various weather and atmospheric phenomena, there are also a number of interactive games to play (Figure 1).


Figure 1.  SciJinks games page (NOAA)


In addition to the games, the SciJinks site has multimedia links covering various topics. There is also a sub-section for educators, with resources covering everything from standards to science fair project ideas and class room activities that are possible to do at home.


Annual spotter talk - NWS Memphis YouTube

Really missing that annual spotter talk from the great folks at the National Weather Service? No need to worry, there are multiple YouTube videos of recent (and previous) spotter talks addressing a range of subjects. One particular good refresher is from the National Weather Service in Memphis (though still very much applies to Kansas – storms don’t understand geographic boundaries after all!) – found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLM0U_86sMQ


Beginner for weather enthusiasts - JetStream

Want to focus on a particular topic and not watch a two hour video? One option is JetStream -- https://www.weather.gov/jetstream/. This landing page has a number of modules which allows you to divide your study into manageable pieces (Figure 2).


Figure 2.  JetStream home page. Source: National Weather Service


From there you can pursue a topic of interest, like clouds. Following that link will give you another set of options, from cloud identification to how clouds are formed (Figure 3). 


Figure 3. Four main cloud types. Source: National Weather Service.

 

Very advanced for the weather savvy – COMET MetEd

Perhaps you are well versed in the basic concepts of weather and want to dive into the science with your free time. If so, COMET MetEd from UCAR is for you! You can find a searchable database of modules here: https://www.meted.ucar.edu/training_detail.php. These can get extremely deep into the physics of forecast models, understanding Doppler radar, impacts of volcanic ash, wildfires, and much, much more. These courses are all free and are used by the experts themselves to teach college level courses!

Still need more? Another useful aggregation of home education resources can be found at: https://www.noaa.gov/education/resource-collections/special-topics-education-resources/education-at-home


Be sure to check out another weather-related article in this eUpdate issue – “Become a volunteer weather reporter in Kansas – Join the CoCoRaHS Network”. This article discusses a unique, non-profit, community-based network of volunteers that work collaboratively to measure and map precipitation in Kansas and across the U.S.

Thanks for reading and happy learning! Feel free to share with us any other resources you find interesting! If you would like help navigating these websites, or are interested in something that you can’t find, let us know and we will see what we can uncover.

 

 

Christopher “Chip” Redmond, Kansas Mesonet Network Manager
christopherredomond@ksu.edu

Mary Knapp, Assistant State Climatologist
mknapp@ksu.edu