Right now I am sitting in my home office, watching the trees bend as the wind howls. My automated weather station in my front yard has an anemometer that is simply going nuts, and the wind vane is wildly careening back and forth as the winds pushes in from all directions. We have had wind gusts that exceeded 40 mph and now my weather station is reporting sustained winds at 25 mph.
The power of nature simply astounds me and fills me with wonder and awe. Being able to make visible observations of the impact of the wind- by watching how fast the clouds are moving, seeing the trees and other vegetation in motion, birds taking cover, and hearing the sticks being moved across the back porch- is really interesting. When I also compare that to the data I am collecting with my weather station- it is even more exciting as I feel more connected- able to describe and observe this wind storm both qualitatively and quantitatively.
That is one of the really valuable lessons that GLOBE community members are able to appreciate- and it allows them to be much better stewards for their global and local environments. From March 15th through April 15th, everyone is invited to participate in the NASA GLOBE "Spring Cloud Observations Data Challenge". At this site, you will find lots of great educational resources to use and directions for participation. The really nice thing about these observations are that they require no special equipment- just your eyes and a little know-how. Be sure to show your students, family,and friends how to take cloud observations with GLOBE or the GLOBE Observer app, and get them ready to collect and share their data during this month-long observation period.