Hurricanes

By Kimberley Flessner

Grade Level:

8th grade

Objective:

Students will research, record, track, and graph information   about some of the current hurricanes.  

Materials:  

  • internet access
  • graph paper
  • tracking maps (Maps with latitude and longitude - Atlantic or Pacific Regions)

Procedure:

During our weather unit we look at the pressure and wind speed in several resent hurricanes.

To find information on resent hurricanes I look for sites on the internet.  One site that has the information needed for this activity is WeatherNet: Tropical Weather Products which has recently been moved to the Weather Underground - http://www.wunderground.com:80/tropical .  Once you are in that web site go down to Tropical Weather Reports and Forecasts.  Choose Lat/Lon Pairs for the hurricanes you want to track.

Each group should track a different hurricane of possible.  For each hurricane you will be tracking, record the following information:

  • Date and Time (every 12 hours is possible)
  • Latitude and Longitude positions
  • Air Pressure
  • Wind Speed

Record this information in a data table.

Divide the class into groups of six.  Each pair in the group will be responsible for either graphing the pressure or the wind speed or tracking the hurricane on a map.

After the pairs have completed their own activities the group of six comes back together and they are asked to make some general conclusion statements or inferences from their data.

Leading Questions

  1. When the air pressure was the highest/lowest what happened to  the wind speed?
  2. What happened to the hurricane as it hit land?
  3. What other information about the hurricane would you like to know?

At the end of this project each group will submit their data sheets, graphs, tracking map and conclusions.

Variations:  

  •  Instead of having the students copy the data to a table you may want to print out the data, however I think it is important the students realize that this is actual data. 
  •  After each group has completed there packet it would be interesting to have two groups compare their hurricanes.