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Weather

Booklet
5th form
IGCSE Geography
NAME
.

UNIT LEARNING OBJECTIVES


By the end of this topic you should be able to:

Draw, describe and explain the use and siting of the following at a weather station:
rain gauge
maximum-minimum thermometer
wet and dry bulb thermometer (hygrometer)
sunshine recorder
barometer
anemometer
wind vane
Stevenson screen (and describe and explain its characteristics)

Make calculations using information from these instruments, such as:


annual / diurnal ranges
wet bulb depression
relative humidity

Show awareness of simple digital instruments which can be used for weather observations

Describe the main types of cloud and be able to estimate the extent of cloud cover

Use and interpret graphs and other diagrams showing weather data, such as:
line graphs
bar charts
isolines
radial graphs / rose diagrams

INSTRUMENTS FOR MEASURING THE WEATHER


Name

Measures
Units

Exam diagram

Add the following annotations in suitable places on the diagram and table above:
Alcohol / spirit
C (degrees Centigrade)
Maximum thermometer (add twice)
On both indexes, read where it touched the mercury
Minimum thermometer (add twice)
Alcohol contracts when the temperature drops. Its meniscus pulls the index along the tube. When
temperatures rise the alcohol expands and moves around the index, leaving it in place.
Minimum temperature = 10 C
Mercury
Maximum and minimum air temperature (in the shade)
Maximum temperature = 30 C
Magnet used to return metal indexes back after taking readings
Mercury in the maximum thermometer expands when temperatures rise, pushing the index up.
When temperatures fall the index remains in position.

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Name
Measures
Definition
Units

Exam diagram

Add the following annotations in suitable places on the diagram and tables above:
Percentage (%)
Distilled water
Wet bulb
Relative humidity
Generally lower temperature reading
Muslin wick
The smaller the wet bulb depression, the greater the humidity
Measures temperature of saturated air
Wet and dry bulb thermometer (hygrometer)
Dry bulb
Difference in temperature = wet bulb depression
The amount of water vapour in the air relative to the maximum the air could hold if it was
saturated

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Name
Measures
Units

Exam diagram

Add the following annotations in suitable places on the diagrams / photo / table above:
Levers exaggerate the movements of the chamber
Millibars (mb)
Barograph
Reading is adjusted to sea level equivalent
Extremely sensitive and delicate instrument chamber expands and contracts due to
changing weight of air
Weight of air (air pressure)
Records air pressure over a longer period (a week)
Barometer
Note (link to climate):
Cooler, sinking air creates HIGH pressure (>1013 millibars)
Warmer, rising air creates LOW pressure (<1013 millibars)

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Name
Measures
What is stored inside?

Add the following annotations in suitable places on the diagram and table above:
About 1-1.2m off the ground to reduce the effects of radiation from the ground (heating or cooling)
Slats / louvres allow air in but not as fast winds (stops wind chill effects etc.)
Maximum and minimum thermometers
Sloped roof reduces water build up (and possible cooling)
White surfaces reflect sunlight (and associated heat)
Wet and dry bulb thermometers (hygrometer)
Door faces North to avoid direct sunlight on instruments
Usually positioned on grass to reduce potential radiation of heat (compared to tarmac or soil)
Double board traps air to act as insulator from the suns rays (solar radiation) air is a poor
conductor
Stevenson Screen
Barometer
Slats stop solar radiation shining directly on the thermometers
Raised location reduces risk of disturbance by small animals (e.g. mice etc.)

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Briefly explain below why it is so important that heating and cooling effects from factors such as
the sun, wind and ground are minimised. Think about exactly what the instruments stored inside
are trying to measure!
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

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Name
Measures
Units

Add the following annotations in suitable places on the diagram / photos / table above:
Raised off the ground to stop raindrops flowing or splashing into the funnel
Rain gauge
Buried partially in the ground for stability and to reduce evaporation
About 30cm
Millimetres
Funnel
Made from copper (does not rust)
Precipitation (all forms of moisture which falls from the sky)
Measuring cylinder

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Name
Measures
Units

Exam diagram

Name
Measures
Units

Exam diagram

Add the following annotations in suitable places on the diagrams / photos / tables above:
Wind direction
Anemometer
Tail
km / hr
Compass direction (where the wind is coming from)
Pointer / arrow faces into the wind
Wind speed
Wind vane
Think: A northerly wind always feels cold because it comes from the north!
Counter / meter
Rotating arm
Wind blows cups around (faster wind = faster rotation)

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Name
Measures
Units

Sunshine recorder (heliograph)


Sunshine
Hours

Exam diagram

Add the following annotations in suitable places on the bottom diagram:


Scorch mark moves because sun moves position in the sky through the day
Measure length of scorch mark to calculate amount of sunshine

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Cloud type
Exam diagram of cloud types
(learn them!!)

Cloud cover
Instrument
Units
Technique

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JANUARY - 2008

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PAST PAPER SUMMER 2011

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Siting a weather station


Use the information in the photocopied handout, your experience from measuring the weather around Fettes
Campus and your knowledge of weather instruments to answer the question below.
Consider the factors which could affect specific weather instruments such as the:
rain gauge
sunshine recorder
anemometer
wind vane
and the Stevenson Screen.

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Study the diagram above which shows four possible sites (A-D) for a weather station.
Explain which site you would choose by discussing its benefits and, in addition, discussing the problems of
the alternative sites.
(10)

Measuring the weather at Fettes


Turn the Kestrel off after each site and on again when you arrive at the next site (middle button).
All temperature measurements should be taken in the shade.
Keep your body out of the way for wind related measurements.

Location
1. Main college
door near Queens
Lawn
2. Top of steps
above Beaches
3. Near bottom of
path to Moredun,
near Green Walk
4. On Bigside
(central but keep off
pitches!)
5. War Memorial
6. North Building
courtyard
7. North Building
corner of Drama
Studio
8.
9.
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Air
temperature in
shade (C)

Wind
direction

Average
wind
speed
(kph)

Wind speed
maximum
gust (kph)

Wind
chill
(C)

Relative
humidity
(%)

10.
Use the arrow buttons to scroll between measuring elements.
To get the correct units hold down the middle button and then use the arrows to scroll through the
unit options.
For measuring temperature and humidity waving the Kestrel GENTLY from side to side speeds up
measurements.
Keep your hands well away from the small instruments
e.g. the humidity sensor is in the largest hole on the back.

Interpreting weather maps


http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/learning/learn-about-the-weather/synoptic-weather-chart

Reference Diagram 1: Weather conditions in Scotland November 1995

Study Reference Diagram 1 above.


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(a) Describe the weather along the west coast of the mainland on 9th November.
(5)
(b) Compare the weather along the east coast of the mainland on 9th November and 10th November.
(5)

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Reference Diagram 2: Rainfall across West Africa

Study Reference Diagram 2 above.


(c) Using only the isohyets map, estimate the mean annual rainfall at:
i.
Lagos
ii.
Timbuktu

(1)
(1)

(d) Using only the isohyets map, estimate the number of wet days per annum at:
i.
Timbuktu
ii.
Ouagadougou
(1)
(e) Describe the pattern of rainfall variation in West Africa.

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(7)

(1)

Reference Diagram 3A: A synoptic chart

Reference Diagram 3B: Station circles for 1200 hours on 5th January 1993

Study Reference Diagrams 3A and 3B above.


(f) Using Reference Diagram 3A, state the atmospheric pressure at:
iii.
Lerwick
iv. Lands End

(1)
(1)

Extension (requires real lateral thinking!)


(g) Describe the weather at Lands End at 1200 hours on 5th January 1993.

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(5)

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