OBJECTIVE: To describe and explain the weather for Bloomington for your three day study period 

INSTRUCTIONS: The weather project is designed to give you the experience of: collecting your own observations or weather conditions; describing/analyzing the collected data using weather maps and other observations available on the Internet; and integrating this variety of data sources into a concise written report which interprets the observed data in terms of synoptic and local weather.

  This lab can be conducted either in groups (of two or three) or individually; however, you are strongly encouraged to work in groups of three people.  Data must be collected and interpreted for three days.  Be sure to trade email addresses and phone numbers with those in your group.  If you have problems with your group, you MUST talk to your AI early in the project.

  Your group will be assigned a three-day time period by your AI during the lab meeting.  Your group will turn in one final report, which includes tables and graphs of your collected data, all collected maps and images, and a written analysis of the data (no more than 5 pages double-spaced).



  1. Record weather data on the tables provided in your lab manual, three times a day [8am, 12noon, 5pm] .  Your Associate Instructor will show you the instruments (both outside and inside the Student Building) during your laboratory meeting.


  2. Download and print out the following maps and images:

     If these links are not working, you will need to find another site in the "Alternate Sources" listed below.

     For the surface maps and satellite images, be sure that you print ALL of the country. Either print the image in landscape orientation or shrink the image, so that it will fit on one page.

     Check that these images are for the correct time - occasionally they might be updated an hour or two late.  Surface maps and satellite images up to 12 hours old may be retrieved from the Time links at the top of each page.

     Remember Universal Time / Greenwich Mean Time (UTC, GMT, or Z) is used on NWS weather reports.

  3. You may also choose to look at or print out other images or data, such as:

EXPLANATION OF IMAGES AND ALTERNATE SOURCES:  See weather server list on main page

  • Surface weather maps 
  • Satellite Imagery 
  • Surface observations at one location 
  • Upper air data 
  • Radar


  • Some points to consider in interpreting your data
  • Your report should contain, at a minimum, two graphs: a time series of temperature and a time series of pressure.  These can be done either on two graphs (time on the x-axis, temperature or pressure on the y-axis) or on one graph (time on the x-axis, temperature on the y-axis, pressure on a secondary y-axis).  For a complete report you should include at least on other graph showing some other aspect of your data, as well.  These graphs can either be done by hand or with an Excel worksheet (sample graph).


Some of these sites are very busy. A fuller list of alternatives is provided by the IU Atmospheric Science program.