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Extreme Weather Broadcast Project

Extreme Weather Film

Broadcast Project and Research


The weather is an important part of our lives, influencing what we wear, what activities we enjoy and even how we feel. What is weather? Weather ( http://www.weather.com ) is the condition of the atmosphere at a particular time and place. The atmosphere surrounds and protects the earth like an ocean of air. Earth's atmosphere burns up meteors before they can reach the earth and absorbs the sun's harmful radiation. The atmosphere is a mixture of gases composed primarily of nitrogen, oxygen, water vapor and carbon dioxide. Did you know that the moon has no atmosphere? Earth's atmosphere is separated into 5 distinct layers. The layer closest to the earth called the troposphere, is where most of our weather occurs.

Our weather is shaped by the sun, earth, air and water. The unequal heating of the earth causes a world-wide air movement. In the area of the equator, warm air rises, and at the North and South Poles, cool air moves toward the equator to replace the warm air. This is the beginning of the air movement that creates our weather. Weather can vary from fluffy white clouds on a sunny day to tornadoes ripping across the plains; from blinding snow storms, to wild hurricanes or gently falling rain.

Depending on the influences of the sun, water, earth and air, weather conditions may become extreme. Meteorologists are scientists who study and forecast the weather. Using a variety of weather instruments, maps and reports, meteorologists study the ever-changing weather information in order to discover trends and patterns which help them forecast the weather for the next few hours and days. Meteorologists can now give advance warning of extreme weather conditions so that communities can prepare for the worst. Hurricanes, tornadoes, hail storms, floods( http://www.fema.gov/kids/floods.htm ) thunderstorms (http://www.fema.gov/kids/thunder.htm ) , earthquakes, winter storms, tsunami's http://www.fema.gov/kids/tsunami.htm)  and typhoons are examples of extreme weather conditions.

You have been asked to join the National Weather Team. Your job is to report on one of the extreme weather conditions. You and your partner will become a weather expert helping to educate others and to protect your community.

The goals of this Web Quest are:

1)   to identify and explain the patterns and forces that shape a particular atmospheric weather phenomena.

2)   to expand your knowledge of weather forecasting, symbols and instruments.

3)   to extend your capabilities with computers. Follow the Quest to prepare your TV presentation and to learn fun and interesting weather facts.

The Tasks:

Task #1

Your first task is to keep a weather journal. You must have 5 entries. Three of these entries will need to come from television weather forecasts. The other two will be weather data you collect at school using our weather station.  You must include the following information in your journal:

 Rubric for each days report: .

  •   Date, name of the meteorologist (2pts)
  • The channel or source of information, high and low temperature information, rainfall, wind speed, and the forecast. (8pts)
  •  Include any information that the meteorologist includes. (Description of how weather was described, impact on the day being forecast, any other information that may help to describe how a weather forecaster provides the weather.) These notes should be typed in their final form before turned in.

 Task #2

Your meteorologist team will write a script for the evening news. Using maps, graphics, and weather symbols, you and your partner will describe a 6 minute weather report, and the explanation of your extreme weather condition. Prepare an overhead transparency or other media format to show the pressure patterns, the position of fronts, areas of precipitation, areas of dangerous weather and patterns. You will need to remember to include an explanation about why these form of weather occur in your weather broadcast:

Items that should be completed and turned in after you have presented forecast:

  • Create a 6-8 minute video presentation of a weather forecast. This will be shown to your tv audience (the class).
  • a strongly written 5 paragraph essay which introduces viewers to your extreme weather phenomena.
  • a bibliography of online and text resources used to create your presentation APA format.


The TV script to your presentation should include these components:

  1.  Introduction
  2. A review of current weather conditions in the area you are forecasting.
  3. A detailed forecast for the rest of the week. This includes highs/lows, fronts, participation, temps, etc.
  4. Refer to local activities that the upcoming weather will affect.
  5. Advice about preparing for the weather Each member of your team should be responsible for one of the components.
  6. Your team also needs to create a poster or media image to show the high and low pressure areas, Temperatures for forecast period, possible precipitation for the week. Your team will be presenting your broadcast in class. This broadcast may be prerecorded and shown over the TV. Each member must be actively involved in the video presentation and research.

 Learning Advice:

Watch the local weather on any television station to see how its done. Be patient and have fun!


The Process

 Process 1

The introduction should get the viewers attention. You can use a joke or anecdote or obscure weather term. In the introduction, you may want to report on what's happening with the weather at that time. You need to include a trivia question or report on a weather record from the past.


Process 2

The review of current weather conditions in the country and your city:

  • report on the current temperatures in the area
  • report on highs and lows of that day - Describe how and what is causing these temperatures
  • report on any precipitation or chance of storms
  • Describe what high and low pressure is and how it affects the chance of precipitation.
  • report on any precipitation or chance of storms

 Process 3

The forecast for the rest of the week needs to include:

  • highs and lows of each day
  • expected precipitation 

Process 4

The upcoming weather may affect many local activities in your city

  • You will need to report on the local activity and mention how it may affect the event.
  • Your advice on preparing for the weather can be very important to your viewers. You need to report on what the viewers can do to prepare for the upcoming weather.
  • You can mention the local activities that were reported on earlier, and report to the viewers weather preparations they can make for their event.

Process 5

Include a section that examines and explains an extreme weather phenomenon.

  • Should include visual models / posters to help convey this topic.


Your team will be presenting your broadcast to the class and will be video taped or other presentational means at that time. Each team member is required to participate and be actively involved in the presentation and research. Costumes are strongly encouraged in your video - Don't forget to base your broadcast in the science that causes the weather to occur.



The majority of on-line resources that you will need are available within this Web Quest. Additional resources are available in the library and classroom. As you complete your research, remember to record the resources you use into your bibliography. 

Internet Resources

1. Ask Jeeves Kids                                                  


2. Google                                                                 


3. National Weather Service Forecast Office        


4. National Weather Service 


5. Understanding Weather Forecasting    


6. School TV - the Troposphere            


7. All Questions related to Weather



Weather Pictures & Related Sites

Tornado Images   http://www.yahooligans.com/science_and_nature/the_earth/weather/tornadoes

What is a Tsunami http://www.mjjsales.com/articles/what-is-a-tsunami.html

Hurricane Images http://www.yahooligans.com/science_and_nature/the_earth/weather/Hurricanes/

Flood Images    http://www.yahooligans.com/science_and_nature/the_earth/weather/Floods/

Forecasts & maps http://www.yahooligans.com/science_and_nature/the_earth/weather

Thanks to Chad Williams, the author of this project, for sharing.