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In this lesson, students hypothesize what types of clouds they believe will create the most precipitation (rainfall) over Nashville, TN. Scientists have studied the physical properties of clouds and have developed instruments onboard satellites to characterize the types of clouds they see below. Some satellites have instruments that allow them to measure rainfall as well. Students use the Live Access Server (LAS) to obtain Cloud Coverage data that represents what percentage of the sky is covered by a certain type of cloud. They then compare the cloud coverage data to precipitation data provided by the National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center. The lesson includes detailed procedures, related links and sample graphs, follow-up questions, extensions, and teacher notes. This lesson is from the MY NASA DATA project, which has created microsets from large scientific data sets, and wrapped them with tools, lesson plans, and supporting documentation so that a teacher, or anyone in the interested public, can use authentic NASA Earth system science data.
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