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Age: 40s
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Question:
Dear Scientists:
My first grade class is studying weather. We found an item in one of our resources that told us a pine cone could help predict the weather. Could you help us figure out why that would be?
We also wanted to know if it is a low pressure system that creates winds or if it is a high pressure system.
We reaaly hope you can help us, because we are going to create pretend weather forecasts for our class.
Thank you very much!
Nancy



Replies:
Dear Nancy-

I'm not sure how a pine cone could help in forecasting weather, but it may react to certain atmospheric changes. I suspect it "open up" or "close up" more with a change in humidity. And changes in humidity can indicate a change in the weather.

Both high and low pressure systems create wind. The strongest winds are usually in an area between the high and low pressure centers. At the center of the high or low pressure areas, the winds are usually very light.

Good luck on your weather forecasting activities..!
Wendell Bechtold, meteorologist
Forecaster, National Weather Service
Weather Forecast office, St. Louis, MO



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