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Mooooommm Why Is It So Cold Today?
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Mooooommm Why is it so Cold Today?

If you have kids, then chances are, you've heard this or a version of it before. And, again, if you're like me and respond with "because it's fall, it gets colder in fall", then there is also a possibility that you got to hear how warm it was yesterday or the day before. I know, weather questions are always frustrating because there isn't usualy a clear cut answer. That is what brings me here today. Kids are naturally inquisitive, whether they are 2 or 12, they like to know things. First they go through what I like to call "The What's", this quickly progresses into "The Why's" and later on becomes "The How's". Kids learn by asking questions. The ask questions about things that are interesting to them, or when something frustrates them. For my kids, Autumn frustrates them. They hate wearing a jacket to school only to need a short sleeve shirt mid day. They don't like the chill in the wind. And they especially hate the leaves falling as this ends up in a family "leaf raking" event, usually held on a weekend and let's face it, they'd rather be playing than helping rake the yard.

I decided to go on a quest to help explain some of the questions that they've asked me recently as the seasons began to change. On my quest, I found some really interesting and neat facts that my kids not only enjoyed, but absorbed. Without further adue, here are my top questions answered:

What makes the seasons change?

The seasons depend on how the Earth is tilted on it's axis as it orbits the Sun. For example, if it is winter in your area of the world, that means that the Earth is tilted farther away from the sun as it rotates and orbits the Sun. Being farther away, the Sun's warmth isn't as strong, therefore, making it colder. If you live in North America, like myself, then while we have winter, Australia is opposite and they have summer. There are also places on the Earth that remain either warm or cold all year. Both poles remain very cold all year because they are farther from the sun. Countries surrounding the Equator remain warm all year because they stay closer to the Sun.

Why is it so windy in Fall?

The answer to this question is probably best suited for older kids. The reason that Autumn is so windy is that essentially, you have summer and winter battling it out. The barometric pressure increases at the poles, while it is dropping in equatorial areas. The Earth will try to equalize this pressure by moving air from areas of high pressure to those of low pressure, thus causing wind to occur. And to top it off, with lower temperatures, the wind is also usually very chilly.

Why is it so foggy?

The reason that you tend to see more fog this time of year is due to longer, colder nights in combination with lakes and rivers that remain warm. This sets up perfect conditions for fog to form. And with the weakened state of the Sun being farther away, the fog tends to last longer into the day before dissipating.

What makes the leaves change colors?

I think about every child asks this question. It comes from a need to understand the world around them. Chlorophyll is what makes the leaves green in spring and summer. In fall, the levels of chlorophyll decreases. Red and purple leaves are caused by higher levels of glucose or sugar in the leaves. Brown leaves are caused by wastes in the leaves. When a leaf becomes dry and brittle, it is dead. That leaf will either fall off the tree it's in or the wind will blow it off.

I hope this helps you answer some of the questions that kids like to ask about the fall season. And while it may be colder outside, there are still a ton of things to do. Fall crafts, activities and learning about some of the fall holidays are just some of the ways to pass time while having fun. If you enjoy the cooler weather, hiking and biking are also a good way to get out into nature to see the beauty of fall.


Street Talk

Nice article. Fall is almost gone here, and on to winter.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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