How can I tell what the weather will be like tomorrow?
  • New Zealand is made up of a narrow stretch of land sitting in the vast Pacific Ocean and Tasman Sea. No one is further than 50km from the sea as the crow flies, so our climate is very much affected by the great body of ocean water surrounding us.
  • Meteorologists use weather maps and things like satellite pictures to try and predict what the weather will be like for the days ahead.
  • Meteorologists record the weather details each day (like the temperature, wind direction, rainfall and so on). With this information they can see if there is a pattern forming.
  • It helps to know what season it is; like summer or winter and what the weather conditions have been like in the past during that season.
  • It’s also important to know which direction the wind is coming from because strong Southerlies can bring cold air up from the South Pole which can lower the temperature and, in Winter, this sometimes means snow. A Northerly wind can mean warmer temperatures because of warm air being blown in from the North (North of NZ is the equator).
  Did You Know?
  • Meteorologists use tools like rainfall gauges, wind veins and thermometers to help record the details of the day’ weather.
  • It’s very difficult for meteorologists to accurately forecast the weather in New Zealand because not only are we surrounded by huge oceans and we’re in what is called the ‘Mid-latitudes’ which means we’re in between the warm tropical pacific and the frozen Antarctic so we get weather coming at us from both directions at the same time!!!
Weather Maps

Have a look in the local newspaper for a weather map. Can you name all the symbols? Have a look for the key that explains what the symbols mean.
Decide what kind of day you would like tomorrow to be and use the symbols to make your own weather map that would show that kind of weather. Get your teacher to help you choose the right symbols.

There are lots of sayings that are supposed to help us predict the weather.

Can you collect evidence that red sky in the morning is shepherd’s warning and red sky at night is shepherd’s delight? How many records would you need to collect?

Can you check if birds flying inland means that we are going to have heavy rain?

If it’s raining at 7 (am) will it really stop raining by 11 (am), take records and see.
Cloud Names

Clouds have the most amazing names. Some are real tongue twisters. Check your library for a book about clouds and see if you can find those clouds in the sky above your school. Tall puffy Cumulonimbus clouds are the ones that you’ll find thunderstorms in. Stratus clouds are grey sheets of cloud that cover the sky and are full of drizzly rain.

Let me know if you find out the name of the thin wispy clouds that look like stretched white candy floss!
Whether the weather be cold or whether the weather be hot.
What ever the weather, we’ll whether the weather,
Whether we like it or not.

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