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Southern AER

A Quarterly Activity Bulletin of The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources-Southeast Regional Climate Center
Fall 1995
Volume 1, No. 1

The Southeast Regional Climate Center (SERCC) is one of six regional climate centers in the United States and is located within the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources in Columbia, South Carolina. One of the goals of the Center is to promote and emphasize weather and climate science education so that students and teachers can develop an understanding of weather and climate and its impacts on the Southeast region. So far, the Center has provided resources through a variety of activities including electronic access to climate data, student interactions, teacher workshops, science fair judging, and coordination with national science programs. The SERCC, in coordination with Project ATMOSPHERE, is continuing the outreach to teachers by providing this quarterly publication, Southern AER, to educators in the region. Southern AER will provide useful climate information, such as classroom activities and listings of resources, for its readers. If there is something you would like to see in an upcoming issue, please contact the SERCC office.

Atmospheric Education Resource Agents (AERAs) from the South are cooperatively working with the SERCC to produce a newsletter that will begin as informational to AERAs. The hope is that each AERA will contribute names and addresses of teachers who would be interested in receiving this newsletter in order that we might spread the word of Project ATMOSPHERE and the SERCC. This will enable AERAs to put into action the role as regional contacts for teachers who are seeking information on atmospheric science topics. It can also aid in the role to act as liaison between climatologists, teachers, schools, and teachers' organizations. Working with the SERCC will give AERAs validity and also another source of expertise in the atmospheric sciences. As the outreach broadens, this will be another way to get our message and information into more classrooms. As the newsletter grows, information about the Maury Project will be included. In each edition of Southern AER, information will be presented for use in workshops and classrooms.


Olympic Venue Climate Comparisons Activity


The climate of an area plays an important role in the decision for a city to be a host site for the Olympic games. As most of us already know, Atlanta, Georgia was picked to be the host site for the 1996 Summer Games. Previous sites include: Montreal (1976), Moscow (1980), Los Angeles (1984), Seoul (1988), and Barcelona (1992). How does Atlanta's climate compare with the climate of previous host sites of Summer Olympic Games? This activity will bring attention to daily maximum and minimum temperatures, average daily heat indices, the role humidity plays on climate, and the role each plays in affecting participants and spectators in the Olympic games.

Definitions The dates July 15-31 and August 1-15 are illustrated in the activity since the Summer Olympic Games occur during that time span.
The Average Daily Maximum Temperature is the daily highest recorded temperature at a station averaged over the thirty year span of 1961-1990.
The Average Daily Minimum Temperature is the daily lowest recorded temperature at a station averaged over the thirty year span of 1961-1990.
The Heat Index is a more accurate measure of how hot it really feels. The value is derived from an equation which uses hourly air temperature and relative humidity. The Average Daily Heat Index is the daily averaged heat index averaged over the thirty year span of 1961-990.

USING FIGURES 1, 2, AND 3 ANSWER THE FOLLOWING: 1. For what city is the difference between the average daily maximum temperature and the average daily minimum temperature the largest? the least?

2. What city's Average Daily Maximum Temperature is greater than 85 for the period shown?
Less than 75?
Greater than 80 but less than 90?
Greater than 80 but less than 85?
Greater than 75 but less than 80?
Greater than 75 but less than 85?

3. What city's Average Daily Minimum Temperature is approximately 70 during the period shown?
Between 50 and 56?
Greater than 75?
Greater than 65 but less than 70?
Less than 65 but greater than 62?
Between 57 and 65?

4. What city's Average Heat Index is greater than 90 for the period shown?
Greater than 62 but less than 75?
Between 88 and 95?
Greater than 85 but less than 90?
Greater than 75 but less than 80?
Between 77 and 82?

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3

USING FIGURES 4, 5, AND 6 ANSWER THE FOLLOWING: 5. Though the Average Daily Maximum Temperature and Average Daily Minimum Temperature are greater for Athens, Greece than for Atlanta, GA, the Average Daily Heat Index is greater for Atlanta. How would you explain that?


6. Give possible explanations for the "dip" in Athens, Greece in each the figures during the period July 28 through August 2.

Figure 4

Figure 5

Figure 6


City Name Latitude Longitude Altitude
Los Angeles


  7. Give a general description of each of the six cities and their locales relative to bodies of water or mountain ranges. How does their locale moderate the climate?




8. Which city would you consider to be the most comfortable and suitable for the Olympic Summer Games? Why?

Extra Credit List events affected by the weather from the following: equestrian, swimming, cycling, gymnastics, basketball, and volleyball.


TEACHERS Click here to send mail for answers to the activity questions.

Note: The use of graph-reading skills and map-reading skills are practiced using this activity. Teachers should share this activity with geography teachers, math teachers and media specialists who might like to use this activity, too.


Southern AER is a quarterly publication of the Southeast Regional Climate Center. Funding is provided by a grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


Weather and Climate Resources for the Classroom

Books Moran, Joseph and Michael D. Morgan, 1994. Meteorology: The Atmosphere and the Science of Weather, 4th Edition, Macmillian College Publishing Company, New York.
Williams, Jack, 1992. The Weather Book, USA Today, Vintage Books, New York.

Periodicals American Weather Observer, monthly newspaper of weather observations and related articles from American Association of Weather Observers, 401 Whitney Blvd., Belvidere, IL 61008.
USA TODAY, national newspaper with an extensive weather page. Available at local newsstands and by subscription.
Weatherwise, bimonthly magazine written in association with the American Meteorological Society From Heldref Publications, 1319 18th St., N.W., Washington, DC 20036.

Radio and Television NOAA Weather Radio, the voice of the National Weather Service. Continuous broadcasts from over 300 stations nationwide.
The Weather Channel, a continuous cable television program exclusively devoted to reporting weather. Includes frequent broadcasts of local official National Weather Service observations and forecasts. Also, the Educational Services Department has available "The Weather Classroom" and several video documentaries. Write to: ABMS, 5020 McNeel Industrial Way, Powder Springs, GA 30073.

Electronic Information The Southeast Regional Climate Center provides weather data and information via the INTERNET through the World Wide Web. Visit the SERCC Home Page at URL:

Data Centers The National Climatic Data Center provides student and teacher packets describing weather and climate and NCDC publications. Contact The National Climatic Data Center, Data Dissemination Branch, 151 Patton Ave., Asheville, NC 28801-5001.
The U.S. Geological Survey provides a series of nine posters on water-resources education for classrooms. Contact U.S. Geological Survey, Box 25286, Denver Federal Center, Denver, CO 80225, (303) 236-7477.
There are five additional Regional Climate Centers (RCCs) in the US. To obtain meteorological and climatological data and information outside the Southeastern portion of the US, contact one of these RCCs.
Northeast Regional Climate Center (607) 255-1751
Midwestern Climate Center (217) 244-8226
High Plains Climate Center (402) 472-6709
Western Regional Climate Center (702) 677-3106
Southern Regional Climate Center (504) 388-5021

AERA Meeting at the AMS Meeting in Atlanta

The American Meteorological Society will hold its upcoming annual meeting in Atlanta, Georgia in January 1996. Since the meeting is going to be so close, a lot of teachers from the region will attend. Pat Warthan (GA Resource Agent) talked with several Resource Agents at the Project ATMOSPHERE meeting in Madison, WI in July 1995 and discovered that a meeting concurrent with the AMS Meeting in January 1996 would be an excellent time to get together. The purpose of the meeting would be to present what projects are currently underway, discuss some new projects that could be beneficial, share resources with other teachers, and learn about new sources of data retrieval. Everyone is encouraged to attend. We plan to meet on Saturday, January 27, 1996, before the AMS meeting begins. Please mark it on your calendar!


Southern AER
Southeast Regional Climate Center
S.C. Department of Natural Resources
1201 Main Street, Suite 1100
Columbia, South Carolina 29201

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, disability, religion, or age. Direct all inquiries to the Office of Human Resources, P.O. Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202.