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Hello Bulb Buddies,

Thank you for the comments and observations you sent in with last weeks weather readings. I've included some of these below. Many of you have commented that the temperature has dropped and that you have had higher rain fall. Some of you have even had snow! For this reason I want to talk to you about how Meteorologists (weather scientists) measure snow. 

It is a lot trickier to measure the amount of snow that falls than it is to measure the amount of rain. This is because snow misbehaves! Snow is often blown by the wind into drifts, which causes some areas of deep snow and less snow in the areas around it. Because the snow fall is uneven the measurements from these places will be wrong! This is why we have to measure snow on flat surfaces, in the open and away from areas where drifts happen! Snow also likes to play games with Meteorologists who want to measure it, it melts into water and re-freezes into ice! This means that the snow measured on the ground isn’t always the same as the amount of snow that has fallen. Another problem is that new snow settles on old snow, so it is difficult to tell how much snow has fallen in one day from the snow that fell the day before! 

Meteorologists have to take all these tricks the snow plays, and work around them to discover how much snow has fallen. They look at snow fall (the amount of snow that falls in one day) and snow depth (how deep the total snow level is, old snow and new snow). One way that Meteorologists measure snow fall is to use a piece of ply wood. They place the wood in an open location away from areas where snow drifts occur, and measure the snow on the board at 6hr intervals, clearing the snow from the board each time they measure it. This means they are only measuring the snow from that day, which will tell them how much snow has fallen on that day in that area! 

Snow fall can also be measured in its melted state, as water. This means that you can use your rain gauge to measure the water equivalent of snow fall! If you only get a bit of snow then it should melt in your rain gauge anyway. But if you get a lot of snow, take your rain gauge inside to the warm and wait for the snow to melt into water. Then measure the water in the same way as you have done each week and report this as rain fall in your weather logs. 

If you have snow and enough time for an extra experiment – why not have a go at measuring snow depth? To do this all you need is a ruler (also known as a snow stick!). Place the snow stick into the snow until it touches the surface underneath, and read the depth of the snow.You need to take these measurements from flat surfaces (benches work well) in open areas and away from snow drifts! You need to take at least three separate measurements to work out the average snow depth in your area. You work out the average measurement by adding the different readings together and dividing them by the number of measurements. So, if I measured the snow depth of three surfaces at 7cm, 9cm and 6cm, I would add these together (7+9+6 =22) and divide that by three, because there are three readings (22÷3=7.33). So 7.33 would be my average reading for snow depth on that date. 

Weather stations such as the MET Office have come up with new ways of measuring snow depth, using new technologies. The picture on the right shows one of the MET Offices snow stations. These use laser sensors to measure how deep the snow is on the flat surface placed below it. This means that Meteorologists can collect readings from all over the country at the push of a button – which is far more reliable and a lot easier than sending people out into the cold with snow sticks! The map on the right shows how many snow stations the MET office has and where these are, is there one close to you? 

If you have snow and measure the snow fall with your rain gauge or the snow depth with a snow stick, then please tell me in the ‘comments’ section when you are logging your weekly records! I would be very interested to know what the snow depth is compared to the snow fall collected in your rain gauge! 

Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies, 

Professor Plant

 

Your comments:

Carnbroe Primary School: The weather in Carnbroe changed throughout the week. It started with beautiful crisp sunny days, snow on Wednesday and finally it rained and rained. Our plants were all well watered. Hooray!!

East Fulton Primary School: We had snow during Tues evening which is why rainfall reading is so high on Wed.

Auchenlodment Primary School: On Tuesday night it snowed so the rain gauge was filled with snow on Wednesday. We had to melt the snow so we could get a reading.

St. Charles Primary School: It was very icy this week and the water in the water gauge was frozen.

Ysgol Y Wern: Mae'r tywydd wedi oeri ond mae hi wedi bod yn heulog.

Arkholme CE Primary School: First really cold weather also got a bit of frost and one of the pots fell over. None of the bulbs have started to sprout yet though.

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Frosty mornings, bright blue skies we have experienced this week.  Heavy rain on Wednesday.

Henllys CIW Primary: We had a lot of rain on Wednesday and it was cold on Monday

Beulah School: very rainy Tuesday night !!!!!!!!!!

Trellech Primary School: It rained on Wednesday but not any other day of the week. It was fun measuring the rainfall.

St. Nicholas Primary School: We had a lot of rain on Tuesday night.

Barmston Village Primary School: The weather has been rainy this week.

Ysgol Glanyfferi: A wet week in Wales! Getting colder. Looking forward to seeing green shoots.

Broad Haven Primary School: It was very windy to start this week but with some sun. We had more rain and it was cold in the mornings.

Ysgol Rhys Prichard: A lot of rain on Wednesday. Really cold on Tuesday.

Darran Park Primary: The rainfall hasn't been very consistent. On the other hand the temperature has been very consistent has only varied by 1 or 2 degrees.

St. Charles Primary School: It was very icy this week and the water in the water gauge was frozen.

Garstang St. Thomas' CE Primary School: We were on half term this week but Mrs Bosson kept a record of the rainfall and temperature for us.

Professor Plant: Thank you Mrs Bosson!

Breckon Hill Primary School: We have measured the temperature and the rainfall in the location of the pots (front of the school) and in the flower beds (at the back of the school). We have noticed that it is slightly warmer at the front of the school as this area gets a little bit more sun.

Hello Bulb Buddies,

Thank you for all the work you have done so far and for sharing your photos! It was extremely hard to choose just five winners. The chosen photos are from schools in Wales who are not participating in the Edina extension projects. If you are participating in the Edina Trust extension projects then your photo has been entered into that competition, and the Edina Trust will announce winners soon.

Here are the winning schools:

 

Severn Primary School

Ysgol Trellech

Ysgol San Sior

Ysgol Abererch

Ysgol Pennant

 

Your prizes will be posted to you soon. Well done Bulb Buddies.

I’d like to send a big thank you to all the schools that have shared photos with us. It has been lovely to see the work that you have been doing, so please continue to share your photos!

Some lovely comments were sent in with the weather data entries this week. It has been very interesting to read your observations. Here are my favourites:

 

Your comments

YGG Tonyrefail: Mae wedi bod yn wythnos sych iawn....a very dry week Professor Plant!

Ysgol Tal y Bont: Mae'n oeri yn araf yn nhal y bont wythnos yma yr athro planhigin

St. Charles Primary School: The weather this week was cold and mostly dry.

The Blake CE Primary School: It has been a bit damp this week especially at the end of the week. It is starting to feel a lot colder as winter is coming.

St Robert's R.C Primary School: It's been getting colder!!

Boston West Academy: We think the weather has been warmer than we would have expected for this time of year and there has been hardly any rain.

Darran Park Primary: We have noticed that the temperature has started to drop over the week. It has been mostly dry, however, there was a shower on Thursday night.

Ysgol Iau Hen Golwyn: It was fun. There wasn't much rain.

Broad Haven Primary School: A dry sunny week cold in the mornings but warm by the afternoon. Rain expected this weekend -but only showers

Stanford in the Vale Primary School: Monday we had no school. Enjoying looking at our planted bulbs! We have had some frosty mornings.

Carnbroe Primary School: We have had a sunny, dry but cold week. We have decided to make predictions about our bulbs and we are all excited to find out what will happen.

Henllys CIW Primary: We have had no rain and we have been allowed out to play!!!

Hudson Road Primary School: It has been really nice Autumn weather. We hope our bulbs are warm in the soil.

Ysgol Rhys Prichard: First frost of the Autumn this Wednesday!

Auchenlodment Primary School: We all enjoyed collecting the data and from next week we will work in pairs to collect the data.

 

Trellech Primary School: Thank you for letting us complete the bulb activity we really enjoyed taking our measurements. Diolch yn fawr.

Professor Plant: Thank you for taking part Bulb Buddies, I’m glad that you are enjoying the project!

 

Breckon Hill Primary School: We have measured the temperature and the rainfall in the location of the pots (front of the school) and in the flower beds (at the back of the school). We have noticed that it is slightly warmer at the front of the school as this area gets a little bit more sun.

Professor Plant: It’s fantastic that you are observing these differences and logging them Bulb Buddies! Which bulbs do you think will flower first?

 

Our Lady of Peace Primary School: This was our first week. Mr Kelly showed us what to do.

 

Barmston Village Primary School: We are noticing some liquid in the rain gauge when it has not rained. We think it is like the dew that has been on the grass as there is only a little bit of it.

Professor Plant: Hi Bulb Buddies, well done for noticing the liquid and questioning how it will have come to be in the rain gauge! I suspect that you are right and that the water is the result of dew forming inside the gauge. Air contains water vapour, and the higher the temperature the more water vapour it contains. When the temperature drops (as it often does overnight) the air cools and releases the water vapour it has been carrying. When surfaces or objects cool to the point that the air around them can no longer contain its level of water vapour, the air will condense and form droplets on the surface of the object. Fantastic Work Bulb Buddies!

 

Law Primary School: All pupils in Primary 5 have really enjoyed planting the daffodils and crocus. They are working in pairs to record rainfall and temperature each day.

Hi Bulb Buddies!

I hope you all enjoyed your half term holidays!

I want to say a big thank you for all your hard work on planting day. You helped to plant 13,829 bulbs across the country! And from the photos I’ve seen, it looks like you all had a great time doing it!

Weather records should be kept from 1st November. So please make sure that your thermometer and rain gauge are in a suitable place next to your bulbs so that you can take weather readings tomorrow afternoon!

It’s a good idea to practise taking readings beforehand. You can do this by adding water to the rain gauge, noting the measurement and then checking that everyone has taken the same reading!

There is a resource on the website to help you prepare for taking Weather Records. I’ve attached this here in case you haven’t already seen it! This resource helps you to answer important questions, such as ‘why rain fall and temperature readings are important to our investigation into the effects of climate on the flowering dates of spring bulbs’!

Use your Weather Chart to log the rain fall and temperature every school day. At the end of the week, log into the Spring Bulbs website to add your weekly findings. You can also leave comments or ask questions for me to answer in my next Blog!

Schools taking part in the Edina Trust Extension projects should also enter their weekly findings to the Edina Trust Moodle site.

Let me know how you get on! You can share photos with me via email or Twitter.

Keep up the good work Bulb Buddies!

Professor Plant

Hello Bulb Buddies,

There isn't long to go until planting day on 20th October! Are you ready? Here are some helpful resources to prepare you for planting your bulbs and for looking after them over the coming months! These are also on the Spring Bulbs for Schools website: https://museum.wales/spring-bulbs/

These resources will help you on planting day:

  • A Letter from Professor Plant (introduction to the project)
  • Adopt your Bulb (an overview of the care your Bulbs will need)
  • Planting your Bulbs (guidelines for ensuring a fair experiment)

And these activities are fun to complete:

  • Bulb Adoption Certificate
  • Make Bulb Labels

It's important that you read these as they contain important information! For example, do you know how deep you need to plant your bulbs? Or how to label your pot so that you know where the Daffodil and Crocus are planted?

Remember to take photos of your planting day to enter the Planting Day Photo Competition!

Keep an eye on Professor Plant's Twitter page to see photos from other schools: https://twitter.com/professor_plant

Best of luck Bulb Buddies! Let us know how you get on!

Professor Plant & Baby Bulb

The Spring Bulbs for Schools project allows 1000s of school scientists to work with Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales to investigate and understand climate change. School scientists have been keeping weather records and noting when their flowers open since October 2005, as part of a long-term study looking at the effects of temperature on spring bulbs.

Certificates have now been sent out to all of the 4,907 pupils that completed the project this year. See Professor Plant's report to view the finsings so far.

  • Make graphs & frequency charts or calculate the mean.
  • See if the flowers opened late in schools that recorded cold weather.
  • See how temperature, sunshine and rainfall affect the average flowering dates.
  • Look for trends between different locations.

I would like to thank all of the Super Scientists that participated this year!

Professor Plant www.museumwales.ac.uk/spring-bulbs/

Twitter http://twitter.com/Professor_Plant