EDUCATION: Cyber Storm Chasing

Science  20 Aug 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5687, pp. 1085a
DOI: 10.1126/science.305.5687.1085a

The peak period for tornadoes is winding down, but hurricane season is roaring along and much of the West is gasping through a prolonged drought. Students can learn about these and other types of severe weather with this collection of photos, animations, satellite loops, and other media.

The site dovetails with an undergraduate textbook by atmospheric scientist Robert Rauber of the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and colleagues, but it's also a handy supplement for any meteorology class. The visuals include many examples of events such as lightning flashes in France filmed from the space shuttle. Students will also find maps and simulations to help them understand the atmospheric conditions that incite severe weather. Above, a model of thunderstorm formation shows rising warm air (orange) that feeds into the storm and sinking cool air (blue) that has shed its moisture.

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