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Chapter 5

Winds, Oceans, Weather and Climate


Section Learning Outcomes
Section 1
  • Determine the effects of Earth’s rotation and the uneven heating of Earth by the Sun on the circulation of the atmosphere.
  • Identify bands of high and low air pressure at Earth’s surface.
  • Distinguish major patterns of wind at Earth’s surface and in the upper atmosphere.
Section 2
  • Investigate how the density of air alters with change in air temperature.
  • Learn how air masses at different temperatures interact.
  • Measure the elements that make up weather.
  • Compare weather forecasts with weather data.
Section 3
  •  Relate the frequency of thunderstorms to the topography of an area.
  • Relate the occurrence of thunderstorms to the temperature in an area.
  • Identify areas in the United States where thunderstorms are relatively frequent.
  • Determine why severe weather often occurs during specific seasons.
  • Examine the relationships between thunderstorms and flash floods.
Section 4
  • Construct a map of tornado frequency throughout the United States.
  • Determine the likelihood of a tornado occurring where you live.
  • Describe the relationship between tornado and thunderstorm distribution across the United States.
  • Explain the relationship between tornado frequency and time of year.
  • Examine tornado safety procedures to follow while at school, home, or outside.
  • Identify the misconceptions related to tornado safety.
Section 5
  • Understand how tropical cyclones are classified.
  • Identify hurricane patterns in space and time.
  • Track the path and atmospheric pressure of a hurricane.
  • Examine the processes and hazards of catastrophic hurricane events.
Section 6
  • Understand the general paths of surface ocean currents.
  • Determine the average speed of surface ocean currents in the Pacific Ocean.
  • Understand how the winds drive surface ocean circulation.
  • Understand how surface ocean circulation patterns change during an El Niño event.
  • Understand how ocean circulation can influence climate.
  • Understand how the Coriolis effect influences ocean circulation patterns.
Section 7
  • Understand how water temperature affects circulation within a body of water.
  • Understand how salinity affects circulation within a body of water.
  • Understand the nature and causes of water circulation in the deep ocean.
  • Investigate convection cells and their relationship to deep ocean circulation.
Section 8
  • Understand how sea surface temperatures vary during an El Niño event.
  • Understand how to use data on sea surface temperatures to make inferences about changes in ocean circulation.
  • Use remote-sensing data to determine the extent and duration of the 1997–1998 El Niño event.
Section 9
  • Identify factors of the physical environment.
  • Use a topographic map to gather data about elevation and latitude, and physical features.
  • Interpret data from a climate data table.
  • Compare and contrast climate information from two different parts of the United States.
  • Understand how physical features can influence the climate of an area.