The official WRCR Rockland County weather forecast
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Today: Partly sunny and mild. High: 50-55.
Tonight: Mostly cloudy and cold. Low: 25-30.
Wednesday: Occasional rain, breezy and cold. High: 35-40.
Wednesday Night: Rain changing to snow and snow showers; accumulations 1″-3″. Low: 27-32.
Thursday: Partly sunny, windy and cold. High: 28-33.
Friday: Partly sunny, breezy and not as cold. High: 37-42.
Saturday: Partly sunny, breezy and milder. High: 42-47.
Sunday: Mostly sunny and cool. High: 43-48.
Monday: Partly sunny and seasonably cool. High: 45-50.
Hello to our friends, the owners of the excellent DiFranco’s restaurant on the green in beautiful Litchfield, Connecticut!
For many years Mark Hanok has served as the official Rockland County, New York meteorologist, on Radio Rockland WRCR. My teaching certifications include Earth science grades 5-12, reading grades K-12, and elementary grades K-6. He has conducted 230 very successful, hands-on weather workshops for elementary and middle school students in New York State and Connecticut. Mark presented these unique workshops at schools in rural, suburban, and urban settings, and worked with the New York City Parks Department at parks and recreation centers in the Bronx, and at environmental education centers and museums in Connecticut.
Currently Mark is writing a book on Litchfield, that explores connections between the topography, micro-climates, and eco-systems, along with personal reflections and vignettes. Mark presented the workshop Representing Middle School Math Concepts through Hands-On Weather Workshops, at the Association of Math Teachers of New York State annual conference in Saratoga Springs in October 2006, at the NCTM Annual Meeting and Exposition in Atlanta in March 2007, and at the Association of Math Teachers of New York State annual conferences from 2006 to 2012. Mark conducts a math and science teachers workshop every November at the Berkshire Environmental Educators Network Conference at Berkshire Community College in Pittsfield. As a member of the Litchfield Historical Society, each spring Mark presents a Litchfield weather and climate walking tour that focuses on the unique Litchfield weather.
Included is a weather workshops outline. This program includes all required materials and instruction. This is a proposal for grades 4 – 8, but a different program is available for grades K-3, focusing on weathervanes and Weathervane Frisbees to tell the wind direction. The cost of these workshops is only $450 for a half-day weather workshop, or $325 per workshop for a full day of weather workshops. We look forward to working with you and your students.
INTERPRETIVE WEATHER WORKSHOP AT CORNWALL CONSOLIDATED SCHOOL IN CORNWALL, CONNECTICUT
Grades 4 – 8
Presented by Mark Hanok, meteorologist on WRCR in Rockland County, NY
1. To increase scientific literacy through integrating the essential elements of meteorology with the sciences, mathematics, geography, natural history, and language arts, in a way that is immediately relevant to middle school students.
2. To meet Connecticut learning standards through an interactive approach to Earth science and math.
3. To build an understanding of and appreciation for our planet and its atmosphere, through real world connections and guided discovery.
1. Introduction to weather: Uneven heating of the Earth’s surface caused by differences in the angle of the sun and the intensity of incoming solar radiation from the equator to the north and south poles, causes weather. Clouds provide important clues about the weather; we can forecast the local weather by looking at the sky and observing the wind direction.
2. Building barometers: Students work in small groups and build barometers, using plastic cups, balloons, and straws. High pressure will cause the air outside the cup to be heavier than the air inside the cup, so the balloon will cave in and the straw will go up. Low pressure will cause the balloon to expand since the air outside the cup can will be lighter than the air inside, and the straw will point downward. If it’s cooler in the room the next day, the air surrounding the cup will be heavier than the air inside the cup, and the straw will go up. These barometers can be easily used to show that as the temperature rises the barometric pressure falls, and as the temperature falls the barometric pressure rises. The barometers also demonstrate how cold air is heavier than warm air. If it’s much cooler outside the classroom, the balloon will be pressed in so quickly by the cold, dense air that we can actually watch the straw go up. Elementary math concepts are included in this hands-on activity.
3. Interpretive look at the landscape: The theme is interrelationships as students explore the local landscape around the school and the topography of northwestern Connecticut As we walk around the park, we’ll look at different eco-systems in the local area and discover where individual micro-climates are found, and the role of glacial rock outcroppings as relics of the last Great Ice Age. We’ll explore these distinct micro-climates, including temperature differences between the north and south sides of the lake or an open field. Trees are indicators of a different micro-climates, and we’ll look for different varieties of trees.
4. Large-scale weather systems: A look at how high and low pressure systems, the jet stream, cold and warm fronts, the Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Great Lakes, and the Catskill Mountains affect weather patterns in the Litchfield Hills. We’ll compare elevations and distances in western Connecticut and adjacent eastern New York.
5. Building weathervanes: Students work in small groups and construct weathervanes using a variety of simple materials. Blacks of wood 3″ square, are given to each student and the different directions are written on the block of wood: N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW. Wooden dowels are placed in the hole in the center of each block. Next, students cut the weathervane arrows out of cardboard and staple to a straw; the straw is then placed over the dowel in the center of the block. Each student can draw pictures on the arrows. Math concepts for fourth through eighth grades are included in this lesson.
6. Using weathervanes to determine wind direction: First we find north. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west; the sun moves from east to south to west. In the middle of the day the sun is in the southern sky. Look in the opposite direction to find north. Facing north, east is to the right and west is to the left. One group of students can go to the north side of an open field while the other group goes to the south end of the field. Students can hold the weathervanes in the wind, and find the wind direction. In this way, we discover important differences in wind velocity and temperature from one side of the field to the other side of the field. We will keep track of wind data using bar graphs and circle graphs.
7. Conclusion: Students look at the relationship between barometric pressure, wind direction, and clouds, and learn how to predict the weather using this data, and integrate probability concepts. Students share information and ideas, and they discuss the links between topography and micro-climates. We’ll discover key facts about the very diverse landscape of Litchfield County.