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Today we are going to learn about climates and weather patterns.
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When talking about the climate or weather, there are some key terms that we should know.


A climate is the general pattern of weather in an area for a long time.

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Weather includes temperature, humidity, precipitation, and wind at a particular time and place.


Temperature is how warm or cool it is.
Rain and snow are kinds of precipitation.

Hot Air and Cold Air

Hot air is lighter than cold air. When air is heated...

the hot air will rise.
Hot air stays up and cool air comes down.

Part 2

Climate and Weather

Energy from the sun warms the curved surface of Earth. The curve of the surface creates different climate zones. Energy from the sun also powers Earth's water cycle and creates patterns.


Energy from the sun is called solar energy. Solar energy heats the Earth.


Earth's atomosphere is made of air.
This keeps Earth warm, like a blanket.

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Oceans can hold heat. It takes a long time for the temperature of water to change.

Oceans near the equator are usually warm. Oceans near poles are usually cold.

Climates of the World

A climate is a long-term pattern of air temperatures and precipitation. Earth has 3 major climate zones on each side of the equator: tropical, temperate, and polar.

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Tropical climates are always warm.
They are near the equator where the sun shines directly on Earth.Warm ocean helps heat the air.

Temperate climates are between the tropical climates and the North and South poles.
Temperate climate zones have both hot and cold seasons.

Polar climate zones are cold all the time. The least amount of energy reaches them.
The ocean water stays cold all year, which keeps the air cold.

Oceans and mountains affect the climate within each zone.

Mountain near an ocean can block ocean winds.

The climate on the side of mountains away from the ocean is hot and dry, because no moisture reaches it from the ocean winds.
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Which climate do you think you live in? (call on student to come and point at a picture)

Part 3

The Water Cycle

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Water moves around the Earth in a constant cycle.
In the atmosphere, the clouds are made of tiny drops of water or pieces of ice. Precipitation from clouds falls on the land and into rivers, lakes, and oceans.
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When then evaporates back into the air. This pattern is called the water cycle. Some water goes into the ground and some moves over the ground. When the water moves over the ground, this is called runoff. This water moves from land into rivers, lakes and oceans.

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Evaporation puts water into the air. Solar energy changes water into vapor.


The vapor rises into the air. You can see something similar when water boils.
Water evaporates all the time from oceans, lakes, and rivers. Wind helps evaporation happen even faster.


Precipitation forms when water vapor cools in the air.

The vapor condenses, or turns back into liquid water. This process is called Condensation. In the process, very small water droplets form together to make clouds. When the water drops get too heavy, it falls from the sky. Who can tell me what this may look like to us?


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The water cycle is balanced. This means that, overall, the amount of water that evaporates equals the amount of precipitation that falls.


Weather Patterns and Problems

Weather is different from climate. A climate stays the same for many years. Weather, however, can change from one minute to the next.



Each pattern of weather has its own kind of clouds. Some are signs of good weather. Big, grey clouds are a sign that precipitation is on the way.

When air masses mix, big storms can occur. Tornados are caused when two air masses meet and form twisting clouds.





Hurricanes are like tornados except they start over the ocean.
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Hurricanes are dangerous when they hit land.
Their winds tear apart buildings and push ocean waves high onto land. A lot of rain falls during a hurricane and can cause floods.

(get string and flashlight for Lesson 6- Earth rotation/Sun)