Passage of a Depression – Animation

Depressions, Anticyclones and Fronts

Passage of a Depression – interactive animation

Worksheet to accompany the animation.

For 11-14

Depressions from our Weather and Climate teacher’s guide

Cold and Warm fronts activities for differentiation and revision

Finding weather features on a synoptic chart

Red sky at Night, Shepherd’s Delight worksheet and Teacher’s Notes – a resource looking at how our prevailing wind direction means this saying is largely true.

For 14-16

Pop-up depression

Mid latitude weather systems basics: Teachers NotesIntroduction to the formation of a depression and Student Worksheet, more detailed PowerPoint about the formation of a depressionStudent Worksheet – passage of a depression and
practise drawing a cross section through a depression PowerPoint exercise.

Impacts of a depression – PowerPoint and Student Worksheet.

Weather systems PowerPoints and cross section practice

Identify the features of a depression on a simple weather map.

Cold and warm fronts – some activities for differentiation and revision.

Using WOW data to investigate a depression passing across the UK with  worksheets for students including isoline drawing practice.

Anticyclones, depressions and fronts with student worksheets
Depressions and anticyclones with a synoptic chart exercise
Interpreting weather charts

A case study of orographic rainfall in Scotland with images for students Image 1, Image 2Image 3Image 4Image 5.

What is the weather? Work out what the weather is like at several UK locations based on some simplified weather maps.

Weather Maps – basic information on synoptic charts, with Isotherm map exercise and Synoptic chart exercise.

Isotherm and Isobar drawing exercise based on a depression: student worksheet. A simpler version of the T/ isotherm map can be found here or a complete depression based exercise where students draw contours of temperature, pressure and precipitation to work out what the system looks like: Student worksheet and notes for teachers.

For 16+

UK Synoptic Charts: Pressure and Wind Skills Exercise

Skills Exercise



You will need an Atlas for these activities

  1. Identify on the map a country experiencing HIGH pressure.                                                
  2. What type of air pressure is arriving in the UK?                                                                                            
  3. What is the lowest value of pressure shown on the map?                                                                           
  4. What is the air pressure over Greenland?                                                                                                     
  5. What is the air pressure over Northern Africa?                                                                                
  6. Identify an area that would have STRONG winds (the isobars will be close together)                                                                                                                    
  7. Identify an area that would have WEAK winds (the isobars will be far apart)                                 

 

EXTENSION– can you draw simple arrows to show the pattern of wind over the UK on the small inset map? (recall that wind moves from high to low and is deflected to the left in the Northern hemisphere) 

 

17. Depressions

Weather and Climate: a Teachers’ Guide

Pathway: Extending Weather

 Pressure and WindWater in the AtmosphereAnticyclones – Depressions

Lesson overview: In this lesson we look at the causes of Low pressure systems and the weather they bring to the UK.

Depressions or low pressure weather systems, bring most of the ‘normal’ and ‘extreme’ weather that we experience in the UK.  Driven by rising air, they mix colder and warmer air masses, forming fronts where these meet and bringing a predictable progression of weather as they pass over the UK.  Their approach is typically first signalled by high cirrus cloud, which eventually develops into rain-bearing stratus.  Once this passes there may be higher temperatures and less precipitation for a while, before towering cumulonimbus clouds arrive bringing heavy rainfall followed by lower temperatures and scattered showers.

Learning objectives:

  • To understand what low pressure is.

  • To know what weather a depression system brings to the UK.

  • To be able to draw and explain weather fronts.

  • To understand how weather changes in the UK as a depression passes over

Key Teaching Resources

Depressions PowerPoint
Depressions PowerPoint (easier)
Depressions Worksheet
Depressions Worksheet (easier)
Depressions Homework
Depressions animation worksheet
Pop-up Depression

Teacher CPD/ Extended Reading

Depressions_More for Teachers

Alternative or Extension Resources

 

Weather and Climate: a Teachers’ Guide

16. Anticyclones

Weather and Climate: a Teachers’ Guide

Pathway: Extending Weather

Air MassesPressure and WindWater in the AtmosphereAnticyclones

Lesson overview: In this lesson we look at the weather associated with anticyclones in summer and winter and its potential impacts.

Anticyclones are high-pressure weather systems caused by descending air.  They rotate clockwise as outflowing air at ground level is deflected by the Coriolis effect and bring light winds and warm sunny days in the summer, but also crisp winter days and endless gloom in spring.  Large high-pressure systems can sit in place for long periods of time and deflect low-pressure weather around the UK.  This can lead to protracted periods of stable weather with little precipitation.

Learning objectives:

  • To understand what an anticyclone is.

  • To be able to distinguish between the weather in a winter and summer anticyclone.

  • To be able to explain why we get high pressure in an anticyclone.

  • To understand the positive and negative impacts of anticyclones in summer and winter

Key Teaching Resources

Anticyclones PowerPoint
Anticyclones PowerPoint (easier)
Anticyclones Worksheet
Anticyclones Worksheet (easier)
Anticyclones Homework

Teacher CPD/ Extended Reading

Anticyclones_More for Teachers

Alternative or Extension Resources

 

Weather and Climate: a Teachers’ Guide

Depressions – Identifying Features

Identify the weather features on the synoptic (weather) chart below:weather chart and photos

Pop-up Depression

Depression
Depression with folding instructions

Passage of a Depression – Account

Passage of a depression

Use the following help sheet to write a fictional story about the passing of a depression. Imagine you are in the field taking observations and measurements. You should use all the statements included below.

 Coming of the warm front At the warm front Within the warm sector At the cold front Within the cold sector
 Barometer – shows pressure is falling Barometer – continues to show the pressure is falling. No significant changes on the barometer. Suddenly the pressure on the barometer begins to rise. Pressure continues to rise.
 Thermometer – shows the temperature is steady Thermometer – shows the temperature is rising. Feeling a little sticky in this heavy coat! Still quite mild. Time for a hat, and to button up that coat, the temperature is falling, it’s becoming chilly. It remains cold.
 Cirrus clouds high in the sky, they begin to descend and thicken becoming altostratus. Becomes darker, the clouds are low and cover the sky like blankets – nimbostratus. Starting to see breaks in the cloud, a little drizzle now – nothing heavy. Angry looking clouds, towering and grey, begin to form – cumulonimbus. The clouds have thinned out now – some cumulus.
 No need for the umbrella yet! Time to get out the umbrella, continuous heavy rain. A steady breeze, nothing too uncomfortable. Heavy rain! Is that thunder I hear? A few showers.
 Slight increase in wind speed. The wind is much stronger now – struggling to hold onto my umbrella.  Struggling to stay on my feet, as I’m battered by the strong winds. Time to go home I think!

What is the Weather

For each location marked on each map, what do you expect the weather to be doing? Think about whether it is windy, what the wind direction is, whether it is raining and whether it is warmer or colder.

Weather map

Weather map January

Eva – A Case Study of a Depression

A Case Study of a Weather System using WOW data

Go to the WOW website wow.metoffice.gov.uk

Use the pop up calendar to select 24th December 2015 and the drop down box to choose 0600 to 0659 in the morning.

Use the Layers menu on the right to select wind speed/ direction.

Use the Filters menu to select only official observations.Map of the UK showing wind direction

Where is the wind coming from?

Is the wind weak or strong?

Change the time to 0800-0859. How does the wind look now?

Change the time to 1200-1259. How does the wind look now?

Capture the image, stick it into a work book

NOW USE THE LAYERS MENU TO LOOK AT TEMPERATURE.

At 0600-0659, what are the temperatures across the U.K.? (You may need to click on some dots to work out exactly what the temperature is)

Capture the image, stick it into a work book at draw a line roughly dividing colder and warmer temperatures. What is a line dividing cold and warm temperatures called?

Now look at the temperature between 0800-0859. What is the pattern of temperatures?

Now look at the temperature between 1200-1259. What is the pattern of temperatures?

Capture the image, stick it into a work book at draw a line dividing colder and warmer temperatures.

Now compare this image and the line you have drawn on it with the wind image you captured earlier. What do you notice?

CHALLENGE YOURSELF:

Find the Met Office Weather Station in Glasgow/ Bishopton, and click on it. Click on ‘View Full Observation’ and use the Graph view and the calendars to select from
23/12/15 to 25/12/15. How does the air temperature change?

NOW USE THE LAYERS MENU TO SELECT RAINFALL RATE AT 0600-0659

You’ll also need to add ‘WOW observations’ from the Filter menu because the official observations don’t include rainfall. Where is it raining?

Go back in time, hour by hour, what happens to where the rain is?

NOW USE THE LAYERS MENU TO SELECT ‘PRESSURE’.

Investigate how that changes through the day.

CHALLENGE YOURSELF:

Find the Met Office Weather Station in Glasgow/ Bishopton again, and click on it. Click on ‘View Full Observation’ and use the Graph view and the calendars to select from 23/12/15 to 25/12/15. How does the mean sea level pressure change?

CHALLENGE YOURSELF:

Capture the pressure image from 1200-1259 on 24th December 2015.
Can you sketch pressure contours for 992, 996, 1000, 1004, 1008 and 1012hPa?

Summarise what you think is going on with the weather on the 24th December 2015.