Depending on where you live, March either came in like a lion or a lamb.

The beginning of spring marks the beginning of all kinds of wild weather. Tornado season is on its way, and is often accompanied by thunderstorms and heavy rains. The following sites are great resources for children learning about weather, and the parents who are helping them.

Weather Wiz Kids

Do you know how a tornado forms? What causes a volcano to erupt?

Created by a meteorologist, Weather Wiz Kids is a site with straightforward information for children about meteorology that answers these questions and many, many more. It contains information on tornadoes, hurricanes, thunderstorms, lightning, earthquakes, volcanoes, climate, and other aspects of weather, weather-related conditions, and geology.

The paragraph-length answers to questions are simple, and include information useful for any parent who has a hard time answering curious questions children may ask about all kinds of weather-related topics:

  • How does rain form?
  • What is lightning, and what causes it?
  • What causes a thunderstorm?
  • How do tornadoes stop?
  • What is freezing rain?

The site provides animated pictures and moving graphics to demonstrate each concept, and a page of photos that capture various weather conditions. Also included is information on weather instruments, vocabulary words, and weather folklore. This site could be a great resource for any student needing help with science and weather-related concepts and homework!

The Weather Channel Kids

It's The Weather Channel site just for children. The Weather Channel Kids has interactive games, activities, and photos just for young learners. The Weather Encyclopedia defines terms such as heat wave and global warming, while Cool Clips shows video and moving graphics of hurricane winds. Both parents and children can check out the Weather Ready category for information on safety and how to prepare for various conditions.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

NOAA Education Resources is an educational site for older children and teachers. It has information and pictures in several categories: Ocean and Coasts, Climate, and Weather and Atmosphere.

The site can help students find the answers to these and many other questions.

The NOAA site also features relative news articles at the bottom of some of their web pages.

Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)

Parents with young children can check out weather-theme lesson plans and activities found at PBS Teachers. Lessons are integrated, incorporating song, rhyme, literature activities, while using some of the characters from books and PBS programs to teach children in primary grades about weather. Caillou, Curious George, Arthur, and Jay Jay the Jet Plane are all on board with these lessons. There are instructions to create a tornado in a bottle, and an online activity to help children learn how to dress appropriately for various kinds of weather.