Scouting

Merit Badge Achievement

To achieve the Boy Scouts Weather Merit Badge, each scout must complete, under instruction of a Merit Badge Counselor, a series of questions and activities on the basics of meteorology, weather, and climate. To assist scouts and counselors, the Oklahoma Climatological Survey has created several powerpoint presentations and activities that may be used in instruction.

Topics Covered:

General Resources:

Merit Badge Workbook, available for purchase from Boy Scouts of America

National Weather Service Jetstream Relevant Topics:

  • #2 The Atmosphere
  • #4 Global Weather
  • #5 Synoptic Meteorology
  • #6 Thunderstorms
  • #7 Lightning

American Red Cross

  • See "Preparing and Getting Trained" section. In addition to the Preparedness Fast Facts in the left-side menu, see the pdf documents related to the hazards.

EPA (Acid Rain)

  • See in particular, "What is Acid Rain?", "Measuring Acid Rain", and "Effects of Acid Rain".

National Severe Storms Laboratory education pages

  • See "A Severe Weather Primer" and "Teacher Resources". The Weather Education has some great links and the Glossary can help define terms.

Oklahoma Mesonet EarthStorm

  • See "materials". Also see OU Speaker Service for National Weather Center speakers who may be able to come and visit your unit!

National Weather Center Site Locations

National Weather Center tours

American Meteorological Society's careers page

Wikipedia

  • The pages usually have good definitions and links, which may help with the "where" and "when" questions on hazards.

Weather Topics

Topic 1: Basic Meteorology

  • Define meteorology
  • Explain what weather is
  • Explain what climate is
  • Discuss how weather affects farmers, sailors, aviators, and the outdoor construction industry
  • Why are forecasts important to these groups?
Resources
Websites EarthStorm Glossary
Powerpoints The Basics

Back To Top


Topic 2: Dangerous Weather

  • Name 5 dangerous weather-related conditions. Give the safety rules when outdoors.
  • Explain the difference between a severe thunderstorm watch and a warning
  • Discuss the safety rules with your family
Resources
Websites

National Severe Storms Laboratory Severe Weather Primer

American Red Cross Preparedness

National Weather Service Jetstream

Powerpoints Weather Hazards

Back To Top


Topic 3: Pressure Systems & Fronts

  • Explain the difference between high and low pressure systems
  • Which is related to good weather?
  • Which is related to poor weather?
  • Draw a cross-section of a cold front and warm front showing the location and movements of cold and warm air, frontal slope, location and types of clouds, and location of precipitation
Resources
Websites National Weather Service Jetstream
Powerpoints Pressure Systems Air Masses & Fronts

 

The Atmosphere In Motion

Back To Top


Topic 4: Winds & Storms

  • What causes wind?
  • Why does it rain?
  • How is lightning formed?
  • How is hail formed?
Resources
Websites

National Weather Service Jetstream

National Severe Storms Laboratory Severe Weather Primer

Powerpoints Clouds & Thunderstorms

 

Pressure Systems Air Masses & Fronts

Weather Hazards

Back To Top


Topic 5: Clouds

  • Identify and describe clouds in the low, middle, and upper levels of the atmosphere
  • Relate these to specific types of weather
Resources
Websites National Weather Service Jetstream
Powerpoints Clouds & Thunderstorms

 

Pressure Systems Air Masses & Fronts

Back To Top


Topic 6: The Water Cycle

  • Diagram the water cycle and its major processes
  • Explain the water cycle to your counselor
Resources
Websites National Weather Service Jetstream
Powerpoints The Basics

Back To Top


Topic 7: Acid Rain

  • Define Acid Rain
  • Which human activities pollute the atmosphere?
  • What effects do such pollution have on people?
Resources
Websites EPA (Acid Rain)
Powerpoints Altering Climate

Back To Top


Topic 8: Observing the Weather

Do one of the following:

  • Make one of the following instruments: wind vane, anemometer, rain gauge, or hygrometer. Keep a daily weather log for 1 week using information from this instrument as well as from other sources such as local radio and television stations or NOAA Weather Radio, and Internet sources (with your parent's permission). Record the following information at the same time every day: wind direction and speed, temperature, precipitation, and types of clouds. Be sure to make a note of any morning dew or frost. In the log, also list the weather forecasts from radio or television at the same time each day and show how the weather really turned out.
  • Visit a National Weather Service office or talk with a local radio or television weathercaster, private meteorologist, local agricultural extension service officer, or university meteorology instructor. Find out what type of weather is most dangerous or damaging in your community. Determine how severe weather and flood warnings reach the homes in your community.
Resources
Websites

Oklahoma Mesonet

National Weather Service local office, see Climate - Local Area section

National Weather Center tours

Powerpoints The Basics

 

Weather Hazards

Back To Top


Topic 9: Outdoor Safety

Do one of the following:

  • Give a talk of at least 5 minutes to a group (such as your unit or a Cub Scout pack) explaining the outdoor safety rules in the event of lightning, flash floods, and tornadoes. Before your talk, share your outline with your counselor for approval.
  • Read several articles about acid rain and give a prepared talk of more than 5 minutes about the articles to your unit. Before your talk, show your outline to your counselor for approval.
Resources
Websites

National Severe Storms Laboratory Severe Weather Primer

American Red Cross Preparedness

National Weather Service Jetstream

EPA (Acid Rain)

Powerpoints Weather Hazards

 

Altering Climate

Back To Top


Topic 10: Weather-Related Careers

  • Find out about a weather-related career opportunity that interests you.
  • Discuss with and explain to your counselor what training and education are required for such a position and the responsibilities required of such a position.
Resources
Websites

American Meteorological Society's careers page

Visit OU Speaker Service for National Weather Center speakers who may be able to come and visit your unit!

National Weather Center tours

National Weather Service local office, see Climate - Local Area section

Back To Top

For more information on the Boy Scout's Weather Merit badge, see the Boy Scouts of America

For more information about our K-12 programs, e-mail andrea@mesonet.org