Bad Meteorology

Alistair Fraser, Pennsylvania State University, Department of Meteorology

This page addresses some common misperceptions in the field of meteorology that are often perpetuated by educators. The examples are about the shape of raindrops, the reason clouds form when air cools, the cause of the greenhouse effect, and whether the water rotation direction in a sink (or toilet) as it drains depends on Coriolis forces and which hemisphere one is in. Each mistaken explanation is exposed in light of what is really going on and what one should tell one's students.

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Subject: Geoscience:Atmospheric Science
Grade Level: Middle (6-8), College Lower (13-14), High School (9-12)
Theme: Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Atmospheric Science