Use these selected websites for students to explore as part of their weather science investigation.

The School District of Philadelphia

Weather Movies
BrainPOP brings you animated movies about the water cycle, tornadoes, wind, hurricanes, thunderstorms, and the seasons. Many of the movies are reserved for subscriber use, but you can take advantage of the free samples. The topics are based on questions that younger students sent in to the site, and the resulting movies are humorous and enlightening.

Lightning: The Shocking Story
This National Geographic site, geared towards students, takes site visitors though short sections explaining the science of lightning with great facts. (Did you know that in the instant of a lightning flash, the surrounding air is superheated to a temperature five times hotter than that on the surface of the sun?) The site also includes brief stories about real people who've been struck by lightning, photos of lightning strikes, and activities.

Dan the Wild, Wild Weatherman
Dan the Wild, Wild Weatherman is an actual professional meteorologist. His style should appeal to seventh grade students. Use Dan's sites, listed below, for student exploration.

Dan the Wild, Wild Weatherman provides straightforward and friendly information about what clouds are, how they're formed, and an easy chart to help remember the different types of clouds. Don't miss his gallery of cloud photos at the top of the page.

Lightning: The Shocking Statistics
Dan also reveals "the shocking statistics" and lightning safety tips appropriate for older students and adults.

What Causes Precipitation?
Along with easy-to-follow explanations of the factors that cause precipitation, Dan provides several useful links to information about hail, rain, freezing rain, sleet, and snow; the difference between rain and drizzle; snow and avalanches; and convection.

Tornado Weather
Dan also offers this handy page that explains the basics of tornadoes—how they're created, where they occur—complete with helpful illustrations and photographs. The content is at an appropriate level for middle schoolers and up.

What's the Temperature?
Dan helps you learn how to get the most accurate temperature from your thermometer. He also offers links about what temperature is, how to read a thermometer, and how to predict low temperature.

Dan explains the effects of wind on weather change, the jet stream, and the use of an anemometer to measure wind speed. If you're looking for additional wind activities, be sure to check out the bottom of the page. | © 2004 The Franklin Institute - All rights reserved.