Geography GCSE: Can cities make their own weather?

Scientists compare the temperature around Phoenix, Arizona, to that of the desert around it and show that it is changing weather patterns in the area.

Phoenix has seen a 12% rise in rainfall since its founding and scientists do a survey of ground temperatures to try to find the answer as to why.

During the day, the average city temperature is seen to be lower than that of the surrounding desert.

However at night, the temperature of the city is shown to be markedly higher than that of the desert and this is used to explain the rise in the rainfall over the city.

This clip is from the series Operation Cloud Lab: Secrets of the Skies.

Teacher Notes

You could start with a discussion on the title of the programme - Can cities make their own weather?

Could be used to look at measuring temperature.

Could also be used as an introduction to the idea of the urban heat island effect.

Curriculum Notes

This clip is suitable for teaching Geography at GCSE in England and National 4 in Scotland. Appears in AQA, OCR, EDEXCEL, CCEA, WJEC, SQA.

More from Operation Cloud Lab: Secrets of the Skies -

The weather and bird migration
What causes rain?
How much does a cloud weigh?