Weather Watcher

The Wind

Weather watchers, what comes to mind when you think about the wind blowing? Maybe you think of a favorite movie, a storm, or kites flying on the beach. Did you know that the wind is caused by differences in air temperature? Changes in air temperature affects global winds, which influences weather patterns around the world. Local winds are not only influenced by changing air temperatures, which happens when air is warmed by the sun, but also by physical terrain, like mountains and oceans. A good example of this is a sea breeze. Sea breezes happen because the land heats up faster than the ocean. This creates a low pressure flow, which circulates over the water and land when the air rises and falls.

Tune in to Storytime: Guess & Go! today at noon on MHHM’s Facebook Live to hear stories about the wind.

Resources:

Listen to Kate, Who Tamed the Wind by Liz Garton Scanlon.

Have more questions about the wind? Explore weatherwizkids.com to learn more and to expand your wind vocabulary.

Take a virtual visit to a wind farm and learn all about wind turbines.

Storms

Though most days we have predictable weather patterns—sunny days, cloudy days, days with a little drizzle or snow—every once in a while we do get a weather event that earns a name, like the Blizzard of ’96 or Hurricane Sandy. These are storms we have to prepare for. Farmers prepare for these storms in different ways in order to protect their crops. Whether it is an unexpected drop in temperature, hail, or severe winds, farmers need to be ready so their crops aren’t damaged.

During the summer of 1816, one of these unexpected historic weather events occurred, requiring people to work together to get through the storm. The storm also effected the amount and type of food available. George Macculloch (1775-1858) was living and farming 26-acres of land at Macculloch Hall with his family at the time. Macculloch did not receive weather reports like farmers today, but was helped by a thermometer and a farmer’s almanac. His garden journals from 1829-1856 include notes about the weather, noting severe droughts and extreme temperatures. His notes record New Jersey’s June snowstorm of 1816. Visit Macculloch Hall Historical Museum’s Facebook page at noon today to hear storm stories and learn about the “repulsive” vegetables that people had to eat!

Resources:

Explore the Old Farmer’s Almanac for kids with a young weather watcher in your life.

Hear the story, Right This Very Minute: A Table-to-Farm Book about Food and Farming, by Lisl H. Detlefsen, read by Ms. Kathryn at the Poughkeepsie Farm Project.

Rain

Whether it is a drizzle or a downpour, rain is fascinating because it shows us the earth’s water cycle in action. No new water has been created and very little water has been lost since our “blue planet” was formed. People, plants, and all living things need water to live.

How does the water cycle work? When the sun heats the water on land it evaporates and rises into the air to form clouds. In them, the water vapor turns into water droplets in a process called condensation. When the clouds are full and heavy with moisture, water droplets fall from the clouds, as either rain or snow. This is called precipitation. The water cycle never stops. Water takes an endless journey, up, down, and around the planet.

Next time rain is in the forecast, grab your boots and umbrella and be ready to jump in a puddle and celebrate the water cycle!

Visit the Museum’s Facebook page today at noon for Storytime: Guess & Go! to hear a story about rain and a Native American Lenape tale of how the weather changed the appearance of an animal we often see in our neighborhoods in New Jersey.

Resources:

Listen to the story, The Rain Came Down, by David Shannon.

Visit at the American Museum of Natural History’s website learn about water in Water: H20 = Life and explore additional education materials for age levels K-4, 5-8, and 9-12.

Head in the Clouds

When was the last time you spent time looking at the clouds? The shapes and colors of the clouds give us clues about what the weather is and what weather to expect. Did you know that the clouds were given names by Luke Howard (1772-1864), an amateur meteorologist in England, after sketching and observing cloud patterns?

Paintings created by participants in this summer’s “Dig It! Plant It! Eat It! In a Box”, a free family program generously funded by The Astle Alpaugh Family Foundation.

Join us for Storytime: Guess and Go! on Facebook Live today at noon to find out more about Luke Howard and the names of clouds.

In July, families in the Morristown area learned about weather and how it affected George Macculloch’s 19th-century farm in the three-part virtual Saturday morning series called “Dig it! Plant it! Eat it! In a Box”. Join us in August to learn about cloud patterns, what vegetables and fruits grew on Mr. Macculloch’s farm, and to make art with teaching artist, Lisa Madson. To learn more about this FREE program, generously funded by The Astle Alpaugh Family Foundation, email Cynthia Winslow, Curator of Education and Community Engagement, at cwinslow@maccullochhall.org.

Resources:

Listen to other cloud stories on Youtube!

Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld

Little Cloud by Eric Carle