Safety First

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E-Adventure into the Weather

Predicting the Weather

How can we tell what the weather will be like tomorrow? You might try asking someone who has the job of studying the weather every day.

People who study the weather are called meteorologists (me-tee-or-ol'-o-jists). They look at pictures sent back from space satellites that show what's happening in the air above our planet.

Whatever happens in our planet's air or atmosphere is called the "weather." Meteorologists have many instruments and machines that use electricity to help them take special measurements of weather.

  • They use pictures from satellites that give a "star's eye" view of earth's weather.
  • They use television and radio to tell others about the weather.
  • They use computers to help add and keep track of all the information.

Computers also collect information on weather in the past and make predictions of what the weather might be like in the future.

Weather can stay the same for weeks at a time, or it can change in minutes. Weather can even change the way electricity reaches your house or school. Storms and high winds can make tree limbs fall against power lines and even break them. When power lines are down, electricity can't reach your house. Special power company workers fix the lines and cut or move the limbs. If you see a power line down, don't go near it. Ask an adult to call the police or power company.



Thunderstorms bring flashes of bright lightning that make sound waves we hear as loud thunder. What is lightning, anyway?
Like a long finger reaching down from rolling, rainy clouds, lightning is a powerful form of electricity. Electrical lightning tries to reach the ground. But how? It is attracted to tall trees, big buildings, chimneys, and even people standing out in the open during a thunderstorm.

If you are outside when a thunderstorm starts, go inside to wait for it to pass. Even when there's no thunder to be heard, there may still be lightning.

• Don't stand under a tall tree to wait for the rain to stop. Remember that lightning is often attracted to tall trees. Go inside a building.

• Once inside, carefully unplug electronic equipment such as TVs, stereos, VCRs or computers. Lightning can strike buildings and burn up expensive electrical equipment.

• Be safe around thunderstorms and respect the force of lightning, the most powerful electricity on Earth.



Copyright 2011