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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

ITCZ- I'ts (a) Totally Confusing Zone

Categories: Atmsophere
We have spent the last couple of periods in class trying to work out the links between global atmospheric circulation and the surface winds patterns. This was probably going fine up until we had finished with the diagram above. Here's an animation of the surface winds and the cells together. I then tried to show you first of all how the ITCZ moves throughout the year. Although we had discussed the seasonal changes in the sun's position, this still confused some people. Try to link the movement to the solstices and equinoxes we spoke of last week. I was also trying to show the movement of the ITCZ using an object on the whiteboard. I've previously taught this using the old overhead projector, and have to say, feel that this works much better. However, as these are an endangered species in the school now, I should probably have used this excellent moving graphic. A couple of years ago we tested the theories about associated weather patterns and circulation cells using webcams across the world- I could try this tomorrow in the double period, but the school server seems to block umpteen webcam sites now. We discussed the ITCZ in terms of its recurrence as an exam question today, so we'll be looking at the effect that the movement of this zone can have on air masses and weather in Africa tomorrow. I'm always a wee bit wary about trying to teach to the exam as there's no guarantee of questions surfacing, and indeed, I think it's better to be thorough across the course and develop topical areas (e.g. climate change). However, it's hard to ignore the frequency of this question, so please ask along the way if you're not getting it.
Population supported study tomorrow. Might use this if I have time...


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