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My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … Sharon Demers!!!

Sharon Demers (#5392) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner and Intermediate Level Weather Merit Badge!

“I know that I must have learned about weather when in school, but that was a long time ago. It was fun getting a refresher course while researching for this badge.

I learned how the atmosphere (the gaseous envelope surrounding the earth, composed primarily of nitrogen and oxygen) contributes to weather conditions reflecting changes in temperature, moisture/humidity, pressure changes, and air masses and fronts.

The air associated with a high pressure system sinks down from above and warms as it does so and is very stable. High pressure systems tend to cover a greater area, move more slowly, and have a longer life.

Low pressure systems develop where relatively warm air ascends from the earth’s surface. As the rising air cools, clouds will begin to form. The instability of the air will provide quite large vertical development cumuliform clouds with associated rain showers.

How is wind formed? Air is in constant motion. It is affected by changes in pressure and temperature. When one area heats up more than another area that it is next to, the difference in pressure creates wind. It is a rotation cycle of cool air and warm air.

I also researched air masses and fronts and how they contribute to weather formation.


This photo shows stratocumulus clouds at sunset.

I researched clouds and how they are formed (I never knew that there were so many types). All air contains water, but near the ground it is usually in the form of water vapors. When warm air rises, it expands and cools. Cool air can’t hold as much water vapor as warm air, so some of the vapor condenses onto tiny dust particles that are floating in the air and forms a tiny droplet around each dust particle. When billions of these droplets come together, they become a visible cloud.

Clouds are classified according to their height above and appearance or texture from the ground.

Cirro, alto, strato, nimbo, and cumolo.

Based on weather conditions (amount of moisture, cloud formations), I was able to guess at the forecast for the following day. The clouds that I documented were cirrocumulus clouds; there was no precipitation, which showed fair to pleasant weather with changes occuring within 24 hours, which did indeed change to rain and very windy conditions with a drop in temperature.”

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    I am in with Sharon! Weather has always fascinated me since I was in second grade. The science behind the beautiful sunsets, the predictability of weather patterns, the jet streams and other large air and water currents, and of the inner connected relationships between the atmosphere, the earth’s tilt, and the protective ozone layer have me constantly looking and reading at weather.com to catch a glimpse of what and why we experience the seasons and the daily forecast. Weather watching is addicting!

  2. Ruth says:

    Sharon, that is so cool! I love clouds, sunsets and rises with clouds. When the sun kisses the clouds and turns then pink to raspberry!

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