Weather and Climate: a Teachers’ Guide
Pathway: Basic weather
Lesson overview: In this lesson, we focus on cloud formation due to convection, orography (relief) and frontal uplift.
The atmosphere is one of the smallest reservoirs of water in the hydrosphere. Clouds form when air is cooled. Air can cool due to convection, when air is heated from below and rises, or when air is forced to rise at a front between two air masses. When air is forced to rise over hills and mountains, cloud formation is enhanced. Climate change will intensify the water cycle, increasing the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere. As water vapour is a greenhouse gas this creates a positive feedback loop, amplifying climate change.
To understand why clouds form in the atmosphere.
To be able to explain two ways in which clouds form
Key Teaching Resources
Teacher CPD/ Extended Reading
Alternative or Extension Resources
A ‘mystery’ – a case study of orographic rainfall in Scotland (with optional extension looking at the Foehn Effect)