Weather fun at St. Bridget’s School

I want to say “Thank you!” to the faculty and children at St. Bridget’s School in Loves Park for letting me come and talk weather today. We had a great time talking about how hail is made within a thunderstorm, how lightning and thunder work, where Tornado alley is, and how tornado watches and warnings help keep us safe.

However, a young man by the name of Ronan (in the second grade) asked me a wonderful question that I wanted to pass along to you! He said “Why aren’t there weather disasters in Ireland like there are in the United States?”

To answer that, we have to look at how the ocean incluence. Take a look at this map! It shows the Atlantic Ocean’s currents…some warm and some cold. You can see that most of the eastern United States is influenced by the warm Gulf stream. However, much of Europe (and Ireland) have cold ocean water streaming by. This creates a cooler, less energized atmosphere than the eastern half of the United States. We have to keep in mind that the biggest of earth’s storms are created by the sun’s heat and energy. While Europe isn’t necessarily colder than the United States, it is more similar to the west coast of the United States. For instance, how often have you heard of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in Oregon or Washington state? The cold, Pacific Ocean keeps things in check over there.

Great question Ronan!



Posted under Uncategorized

This post was written by qni_it on January 30, 2007

3 Comments so far

  1. Anonymous February 2, 2007 12:46 AM

    Eric, Thanks for visiting us at St. Bridget’s. the students have been talking about your presentation and seemed to really enjoy it. I know my two children have been coming up with amazing weather facts about hail formation, tornadoes, etc… We appreciate your continued support of our school and your committment to sharing your knowledge and educating children in the Rockford area. Thanks again, Patti Bishop, Catholic Schools Week Chairperson

  2. Anonymous February 2, 2007 1:14 AM

    Thank-you for answering my question and for coming to my school. My big brothers and my Irish relatives were very impressed.
    Thanks, Ronan
    Thanks from Ronan’s Mom too!

  3. Anonymous February 2, 2007 7:16 PM

    Hi Ronan, that was a great question and a well explained answer.
    Your Spanish cousins.
    pd.: Here’s another question. How come it didn’t snow in Rockford when we went to visit you at Christmas?

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