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Southern AER

A Quarterly Activity Bulletin of The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources - Southeast Regional Climate Center
Winter 1995
Volume 1, No. 2

The Science House, a learning outreach center of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences at North Carolina State University, in Raleigh, North Carolina, has recently added several programs in Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. EARTHCYCLE is a traveling science show offering a variety of presentations on geology, meteorology, oceanography, marine biology and ecology for K-12 students. Home-schooled students in the area are eagerly registering for Science Flare, hands-on science classes taught at The Science House during the day. Courses currently offered are "What a Thrill to Have a Gill", "Rain or Shine?", "Mudpies Galore!", and "Runaway Rivers". Teacher workshops provide educators with new knowledge and ready-to-use classroom ideas to increase their students' enthusiasm about science.

Four other programs at The Science House include: Physics and Chemistry On the Road; Imhotep, a precollege program for African American 6-12th graders; Team Science; and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Precollege Science Program, rural schools outreach programs emphasizing technology in the classroom. The Scibrary is a resource room at The Science House which offers hands-on activity books, instructional kits, software, magazines and other educational materials for educators use. A primary goal of The Science House is to provide a model for the interaction between a research university and school systems in providing quality science education for our children. For more information, please contact:

The Science House
NCSU Box 8211
B51 Nelson Hall
Raleigh, NC 27695-8211
Phone: (919) 515-6118
FAX: (919) 515-7545


1995 Hurricane Season Activity


The 1995 Tropical Season was the second most active in the North Atlantic since the beginning of comparable records (1871). Nineteen named tropical cyclones formed in 1995. This season came close to tying the record season, 1933, when 21 cyclones developed. The 1995 Tropical Season began on June 3 when Hurricane Allison developed in the western Caribbean. The last storm of the season was Hurricane Tanya which dissipated on November 2 over the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Since tropical weather can affect so many lives, it is important to study tropical cyclones. This activity will make students aware of the naming of tropical storms, intensity of the tropical storms, and the relationship between wind speed and pressure in tropical storms.


1. When does a tropical cyclone become named?

2. Can tropical activity originate at the equator? Why or why not?

3. What is the name of the scale used to indicate the intensity of hurricanes? Identify the scale and find out the basis of it.


4. Plot the path of Hurricane Opal on the Tracking Chart. Click here to download a copy of a hurricane tracking chart.

5. How long did Opal maintain Hurricane strength?

6. Fill in the graph of wind speed vs. pressure. Then answer the following questions.



Speed  120




           916     936      956      976       996      1016      
                          Pressure  (Millibars)      

A. What was the lowest pressure recorded?


B. What was the highest wind speed recorded?


C. Determine the relationship between pressure and wind speed.


                      TABLE 1
                   Hurricane Opal
Adv    Date/Time   Lat       Lon      Pres       Wind                   
  1.     SEP27/21UTC   19.3N    87.3W    1005MB     30MPH          Adv = Advisory Number
  2.     SEP28/03UTC   19.5N    87.6W    1005MB     30MPH          Date = Date advisory issued
  3.     SEP28/09UTC   19.7N    88.2W    1005MB     30MPH          Time = Time advisory issued
  4.     SEP28/15UTC   20.3N    88.5W    1005MB     30MPH          Lat = Latitude
  5.     SEP28/21UTC   19.5N    88.5W    1004MB     30MPH          Lon = Longitude
  6.     SEP29/03UTC   19.5N    88.5W    1004MB     30MPH          Pres = Pressure 
  7.     SEP29/09UTC   19.7N    88.7W    1002MB     30MPH          Wind = Wind Speed 
  8.     SEP29/15UTC   19.5N    88.5W    1002MB     30MPH
  9.     SEP29/21UTC   20.2N    88.0W    1000MB     35MPH
10.      SEP30/03UTC   20.5N    88.1W    1000MB     35MPH
11.      SEP30/09UTC   21.1N    88.3W    1000MB     35MPH
12.      SEP30/15UTC   21.8N    88.5W     999MB     45MPH  TS Opal
12a.     SEP30/18UTC   21.8N    89.2W     999MB     45MPH
13.      SEP30/21UTC   21.8N    89.6W     997MB     50MPH
13a.     OCT01/00UTC   21.4N    89.8W     997MB     50MPH
14.      OCT01/03UTC   21.4N    90.0W     997MB     50MPH
14a.     OCT01/06UTC   21.3N    90.6W     996MB     50MPH
15.      OCT01/09UTC   21.2N    91.1W     987MB     60MPH
15a.     OCT01/12UTC   21.0N    91.4W     986MB     60MPH
16.      OCT01/15UTC   20.9N    91.6W     986MB     50MPH
16a      OCT01/18UTC   20.8N    91.7W     993MB     50MPH
17.      OCT01/21UTC   20.7N    91.7W     989MB     50MPH
17a.     OCT02/00UTC   20.7N    91.9W     984MB     65MPH
18.      OCT02/03UTC   20.8N    92.1W     984MB     65MPH
18a.     OCT02/06UTC   20.9N    92.0W     980MB     65MPH
19.      OCT02/09UTC   20.9N    92.4W     982MB     65MPH
19a.     OCT02/12UTC   21.1N    92.5W     973MB     75MPH Hurricane
20.      OCT02/15UTC   21.0N    92.5W     973MB     75MPH
20a.     OCT02/18UTC   21.1N    92.4W     973MB     75MPH
21.      OCT02/21UTC   21.3N    92.3W     971MB     80MPH
21a.     OCT03/00UTC   21.7N    92.2W     970MB     80MPH
22.      OCT03/03UTC   22.0N    92.2W     970MB     80MPH
22a.     OCT03/06UTC   22.2N    92.2W     972MB     80MPH
23.      OCT03/09UTC   22.5N    92.1W     968MB     80MPH
23a.     OCT03/12UTC   22.7N    91.8W     969MB     80MPH
24.      OCT03/15UTC   23.1N    91.4W     969MB     90MPH
24a.     OCT03/18UTC   23.4N    91.0W     967MB     90MPH
25.      OCT03/21UTC   23.9N    90.6W     963MB    100MPH
25a.     OCT04/00UTC   24.5N    90.1W     957MB    100MPH
26.      OCT04/03UTC   25.3N    89.5W     948MB    115MPH
26a.     OCT04/06UTC   25.8N    89.5W     939MB    115MPH
27.      OCT04/09UTC   26.4N    89.2W     933MB    120MPH
27a.     OCT04/11UTC   27.0N    88.7W     916MB    135MPH
27b.     OCT04/13UTC   27.6N    88.4W     921MB    150MPH
28.      OCT04/15UTC   28.1N    88.2W     927MB    150MPH
28a.     OCT04/17UTC   28.6N    87.9W     934MB    135MPH
28b.     OCT04/19UTC   29.2N    87.8W     940MB    125MPH
29.      OCT04/21UTC   29.8N    87.3W     940MB    125MPH
29a.     OCT04/23UTC   30.6N    87.0W     940MB    125MPH
29b.     OCT05/01UTC   31.3N    86.7W     960MB    100MPH
30.      OCT05/03UTC   31.9N    86.2W     970MB     85MPH
30a.     OCT05/05UTC   32.5N    86.5W     970MB     75MPH
31.      OCT05/09UTC   34.7N    85.8W     975MB     40MPH Tropical Storm
32.      OCT05/15UTC   36.7N    84.6W     982MB     35MPH Depression

7. Make a bar graph of the maximum recorded winds (in knots) using all 1995 tropical cyclones.

8. Make a bar graph of the lowest recorded pressures (in millibars) using all 1995 tropical cyclones.

9. Discuss at least four hurricanes with the highest recorded wind speeds. Discuss at least four hurricanes with the lowest recorded pressures. Are you discussing the same storms? Why?


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

Fact Sheets

Several fact sheets on drought, floods, and acid rain can be obtained by writing to: National Water Information Clearinghouse, U.S. Geological Survey, 423 National Center Reston, VA 22092. Free fact sheets for the classroom can be obtained from Milli Butterworth/Louise Carroll,NCAR Educational and Outreach Programs, National Center for Atmospheric Research, P.O. Box 3000, Boulder, CO 80307-3000, telephone (303) 497-8601/8611.

The Impact of Climate Change on South Carolina is a publication that describes the climate of South Carolina, the factors that control the climate, and what effects a change in the climate would have on the state. To obtain a copy, please write to: South Carolina State Climate Office, 1201 Main Street, Suite 1100, Columbia, SC 29201, or call (803) 737-0800.


Geoscience Resources contains many weather and climate resources for teachers. Two very common items for educators are the Atmospheric Transparency Manual (catalog #71-5260 - cost $120) and the Atmospheric Wall Chart (catalog #71-5250 - cost $17.95). To obtain ordering information, write to: Geoscience Resources, P.O. Box 2096, Burlington, NC, 27216, or call 1-800-742-2677.

HOW THE WEATHERWORKS is a company dedicated to providing weather services to K-12 educators. The 1995 catalog from HOW THE WEATHERWORKS is available to teachers. This is an excellent source for weather related materials for the classroom. To obtain a copy of the catalog write to: HOW THE WEATHERWORKS, 1522 Baylor Avenue, Rockville, Maryland, 20850, or call 1-800-8CLOUD9, or e-mail FOURCLOUDS@AOL.COM.

Electronic Information

The Southeast Regional Climate Center is the home of CIRRUS, the Climate Interactive Rapid Retrieval Users System. CIRRUS is an educational medium that provides economically and environmentally important climatic information in a timely and easy to access manner. The system gives students the opportunity to observe and analyze daily weather where they live and enhance their knowledge of their local environment. CIRRUS is accessible through modem or Internet. Educational users can have unlimited access for one year for $25. To obtain subscription information or other information please contact the Southeast Regional Climate Center at (803) 737-0849.


Southern AERA Meeting in Atlanta

We are excited about The American Meteorological Society's Annual Meeting, January 28 thorugh February 2, 1996 in Atlanta. Pat Warthan , GA AERA, and the SERCC have been busy getting things ready for the Southern AERA meeting, concurrent with the AMS meeting. The Southern AERA meeting has been scheduled for Saturday, January 27, 1996. The meeting room will be available to attendees from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Afterwards those interested may eat together at a nearby restaurant. The purpose of the meeting is 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. We hope to see you there!

Permission is granted for the reproduction of materials contained is this publication.

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.