Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Warm weather in Toronto!

We are experiencing an unseasonably warm day here in Toronto. The temperature is +16 degrees Celsius with gusts of wind at about 50 km/h. How is the weather at Pickering College, Nakasuk School and West Prep? Does anyone know why we are experiencing such warm temperatures in Southern Ontario?


  1. Ideas from West Prep -Grade 2 -Room 121
    LF- I think it is because of the atmosphere. I think the pollution is breaking in.
    JS- I think it is because of global warming
    JK- I think it is because the blanket around the world has a whole in it and the sum is coming in more.
    KA - THink it is because the summer is coming.

    Can you tell us what you think?

  2. Hi West Prep Rm 121 students!

    My name is Ashley Jones and I am a scientist at the University of Toronto. I work with science of the atmosphere and I will try to answer your question.

    Thank you for your ideas and suggestions, it's always great to see a wide range of thoughts :). So, yes it is really warm here in Toronto. Why could this be? Well, in meterology the atmosphere is made up of different air masses, which are defined by their differences in temperature and water vapour content. Air masses are very large and can cover many thousands of kilometers. When we talk of air masses, we usually call them cold air masses or warm air masses. Cold air masses for example, typically come from the polar regions, while warm air masses come from more tropical regions. There are other air masses between these bringing a mixture of dry and moist air. The zone that seperates a cold air mass from a warm air mass is called a front. Warm moist air are associated with what are known as "Low pressure systems", while colder drier air is associated with "High pressure system". So when you have a lot of rain that carries on all day, which pressure system do you think you are experiencing? That's right a low pressure system, which brings warm moist air. Luckily it's not always raining! That's because colder air masses move faster than warm air masses. When cool air cuts into warm air we can get really large clouds that grow upwards for miles! These are cumulonimbus clouds that bring thunderstorms and heavy showers. Eventually, the cold front passes through and behind it we can get dry conditions for days, sometimes even weeks! As there are typically few clouds in the sky the sun warms up the surface and so we get nice long warm dry days and that's what we are experiencing in Toronto right now, a strong high pressure system. What's the weather like with you today?

    Best Regards,
    Dr Ashley Jones

  3. Hello from Grade 2 at Pickering College. We looked at the picture and talked about what we thought the instrument was for. We think the top part (that looks like a plane) is for measuring wind direction. We think the bottom part (that look like hemispheres) is for measuring wind speed or to measure the water in the air. Thanks for sharing this with us....we loved looking at the picture. Can you let us know if we are correct??

    From Grade 2