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Clouds and Thunder and Lightning, OH MY!!!

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Presentation on theme: "Clouds and Thunder and Lightning, OH MY!!!"— Presentation transcript:

1 Clouds and Thunder and Lightning, OH MY!!!
Katherine Hague, Hillary Edwards, and Kristie Bittner

2 There’s a Storm Brewing…
Different clouds bring different weather and in order to understand weather, it is important to be familiar with the different types of clouds. cumulus- means heap, pile, or accumulation of clouds

3 More Clouds Stratus- spread out, flattened clouds that appear to be in layers. Nimbus- rainy cloud. Usually gray in color, Nimbus clouds can be either cumulus (puffy) or stratus (flat). Cumulonimbus-generally known as thunderstorm clouds. High winds will flatten the top of the cloud into an anvil-like shape. Cumulonimbus are associated with heavy rain, snow, hail, lightning, and tornadoes. The anvil usually points in the direction the storm is moving.

4 What is Lightning? Have you ever gotten a shock by shuffling across a carpet and then touching something made of metal? Then you've experienced the same process that makes lightning Within a thundercloud, many small bits of ice bump into each other as they swirl around in the air. All those collisions create an electrical charge, just like the one that built up in you when you crossed the carpet. After a while, the whole cloud fills up with electrical charges (usually with a negative charge closest to the earth). Since opposites attract each other, that causes a positive charge to build up on the ground beneath the cloud. The ground's electrical charge concentrates around anything that sticks up, such as mountains, lone trees, people, or even blades of grass. The charge streaming up from these points eventually connects with a charge reaching down from the clouds, and lightning strikes.

5 What is Lightning, Con’t.
Lightning flashes aren't all the same shape or size, and they don't all carry the same amount of electrical current. Two clouds that are about the same size may create very different amounts of lightning. It depends on how much electrical charge the cloud has, and that depends on a lot of other things, like how fast air is moving in the cloud and how many ice crystals have formed in the cloud. Satellites looking down at the earth have shown that there are more than 3 million lightning flashes each day around the world. That works out to about 40 flashes each second. This includes flashes within or between clouds as well as the ones that strike the ground. It sounds like a lot, but it's less than scientists used to think there were.

6 Kinds of Lightning In-Cloud Lightning: The most common type, it travels between positive and negative charge centers within the thunderstorm. Cloud-to-Ground Lightning: This is lightning that reaches from a thunderstorm cloud to the ground. Cloud-to-Cloud Lightning: A rare event, it is lightning that travels from one cloud to another. Sheet Lightning: This is lightning within a cloud that lights up the cloud like a sheet of light.

7 Kinds of Lightning, Cont’d
Ribbon Lightning: This is when a cloud-to-ground flash is blown sideways by the wind, making it appear as two identical bolts side by side. Bead Lightning: Also called "chain lightning," this is when the lightning bolt appears to be broken into fragments because of varying brightness or because parts of the bolt are covered by clouds.

8 Kinds of Lightning, Con’t.
Ball Lightning: Rarely seen, this is lightning in the form of a grapefruit-sized ball, which lasts only a few seconds. Bolt from the blue: A lightning bolt from a distant thunderstorm, seeming to come out of the clear blue sky, but really from the top or edge of a thunderstorm a few miles away.

9 Danger!! Lightning kills about 100 Americans each year, which is more than any other kind of weather. About 400 other people each year are struck by lightning and live through the experience and as a result have health problem like losing control over some parts of the body or losing their memory. The best way to keep from getting struck by lightning is to go inside before an electrical storm gets too close. To find out how close the storm is, start counting slowly as soon as you see lightning. Light travels extremely fast, so the lightning's flash reaches your eyes instantly, but the sound of thunder travels much slower--one mile in five seconds. If you hear thunder before you can count to 30, the storm is within six miles of you, and the next lightning strike could be right near you. Get into a house or car and stay there till the storm moves away. If you're not close to shelter, here are some things to stay away from: tall trees or poles completely open areas like fields bodies of water, like lakes or the ocean metal fences, sports equipment, bikes, etc

10 Fun Lightning Facts! An estimated two thousand thunderstorms are going on in the world at any one time. The diameter of a lightning bolt is about a half-inch to an inch wide, but can be up to five inches wide. The average length of a lightning bolt from a cloud to the ground is three to four miles long. When lightning strikes a sandy beach, the intense heat turns a small portion of the sand into glass. These icicle-shaped pieces are called "fulgurites." A flash of lightning appears to flicker because there are usually several bolts of lightning striking at almost the same time. Lightning can occur not only in thunderstorms, but also in snowstorms, sand storms, above erupting volcanoes and from nuclear explosions. The temperature of a lightning flash is 15,000 to 60,000 degrees Fahrenheit. That's hotter than the surface of the sun (9,000 degrees Fahrenheit). A stroke of lightning moves about 62,000 miles per second--one-third the speed of light. In the United States, the state of Florida and the Rocky Mountain region get the most lightning. Worldwide, the countries near the equator get hit the most

11 Thunderstruck! As lightning bolts are hotter than the surface of the sun, lightning bolts suddenly heat the air around it to such an extreme, the air instantly expands, sending out a vibration or shock wave we hear as an explosion of sound. This is thunder. If you are near the stroke of lightning you’ll hear thunder as one sharp crack. When lightning is far away, thunder sounds more like a low rumble as the sound waves reflect and echo off hillsides, buildings and trees. Depending on wind direction and temperature, you may hear thunder for up to fifteen or twenty miles.

12 Rain, Rain, Go Away Rainfall in a thunderstorm can be very heavy.  Cumulonimbus clouds contain huge amounts of moisture.  Several inches of rain can fall in a short time.  That's why thunderstorms sometimes result in flooding.

13 Activities! Take a winto-green mint and eat it with your mouth open. Look at your neighbors mouths to see “lightning”!

14 Homemade Lightning 1) Create a marshmallow creature and blow up a balloon 2) Rub a wool sweater on the balloon, alot! 3) Touch the paper clip end of the marshmallow creature to the balloon

15 Why does it work? All that rubbing causes some electrons from the wool to collect on the balloon, giving it a negative charge. Holding the negative balloon near the neutral paper clip causes the electrons in the clip to move away (the two negative forces repel), leaving the metal surface with a positive charge. When the charge is great enough, the air between the balloon and paper clip becomes charged, too, creating a path where the electrons can move--and letting the sparks fly

16 Standards National Standard:Earth and Space Science-Weather changes from day to day and over the seasons. Weather can be described by measurable quantities, such as temperature, wind direction and speed, and precipitation. Standard #4:Earth Systems- Describe weather by measurable quantities such as temperature, wind direction, wind speed, precipitation, and barometric pressure. Standard #7: Earth Systems- Describe the weather that accompanies cumulus, cumulonimbus, cirrus, and stratus clouds. Standard #3: Doing Scientific Inquiry- Develop, design, and conduct safe, simple investigations or experiments to answer questions Praxis C4: Monitoring students’ understanding of content through a variety of means, providing feedback to students to assist learning, and adjusting learning activities as the situation demands. Praxis A4: Creating or selecting teaching methods, learning activities, and instructional materials or other resources that are appropriate to the students and that are aligned with the goals of the lesson

17 Resources "How to Be a Storm Spotter." Boat Safe Kids. 12 July 1 Apr <>. Picoult, Jodi. "Homemade Lightning." Family Fun. 15 Mar <>. Rasmussen, Carol. "Lightning: Just for Kids." 4 Apr UCAR Communications. 1 Apr <>. Walker, Nick. "Thunderstorms." Small Gate Media Mar <>. Wicker, Crystal. "Lightning." Weather Wiz Kids 1 Apr <>.

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