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  Student Handout #2 – Meteorologist Assignment

Knowledge Base
Meet with the reporter, landuse planner, and water quality analyst to discuss your responsibilities and expertise.

Experimental Design
Agree on a storm date to investigate based on the dates suggested by your teacher. Discuss the strategies you will use to collect your data.

Data Collection
Identify details about the major rainfall that occurred over the lake you are studying (at least one inch of rain fell during a period of 24 hours or less). Potentially useful websites are: The University of Minnesota’s Climatology Working Group website at and the NOAA National Data Center at

Answer the following questions using the weather data available via the Internet.

  1. Can you identify the approximate starting time and ending time for the rainfall?
  2. What was the total amount of rain that fell?
  3. Is there any evidence that winds were associated with the storm?
  4. If there were winds, what direction were they from and what was the maximum wind speed?

Data Management and Analysis
Develop a strategy for calculating the total amount of water that fell directly on the land in the watershed and for calculating the total amount that fell directly on the lake. Express these as a ratio, watershed rainfall: lake rainfall, using appropriate units of measure.

Calculate the combined watershed and lake rainfall. Express this as a percentage of the total volume of the lake.

Interpretation of Results
If the lake was thermally stratified at the time of the rainstorm, would your calculations change?

Reporting Results
Make sure your group reporter has the information needed for the final report.


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date last updated: Saturday March 06 2004