Welcome to Baloo's Bugle!


Back to Index
Annual Index
This Month

Special Opportunities
Thoughtful Items
Pow Wows
Training Tips
Tiger Scouts
Pack & Den Activities
Pack Admin Helps
Fun Foods & Cub Grub
Web Links
One Last Thing...

The Pack Meeting
Gathering Activities
Opening Ceremonies
Stunts & Cheers
Audience Participations
Advancement Ceremonies
Closing Ceremony
Cubmaster's Minute


Write to Baloo (Click Here) to offer contributions, suggest ideas, express appreciation, or let Commissioner Dave know how you are using the materials provided here. Your feedback is import. Thanks.

Baloo's Bugle

February 2006 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 13, Issue 7
March 2007 Theme

Theme: Baloo Skies
Webelos: Athlete & Engiineer
Tiger Cub


This month Cub Scouts will learn how weather impacts their daily lives.  Visit a local weather station and find out what meteorologists are doing to make better weather predictions or watch the weather on radar via the Internet or on TV.  Learn about temperature, barometric pressure, and what makes clouds and rain. Make a rain gauge.  See how the wind affects the land and oceans.  Build and fly a kite with your den or pack.  Build a tornado in a bottle.  Learn what birds do to “weather” the storms. Invite a science teacher, weather forecaster or meteorologist to come to your pack meeting.  Earn the Weather Academic belt loop and pin.

Whether the Weather

Whether the weather be fine.  Or whether the weather be not,
Whether the weather be cold.  Or whether the weather be hot,
We'll weather the weather.  Whatever the weather.
Whether we like it or not.


Months with similar themes to
Baloo Skies
Dave D. in Illinois






Cub Weathermen






Weather Observation



Weather Observations



Weather Observations

Weather Words
(from www.weatherwizkids.com)

Advisory:              A forecast issued by the National Weather Service to highlight conditions that require caution but are not thought to be immediately life threatening.

Air:                      The mixture of gases which form the atmosphere of the Earth.

Air Pressure:         The weight of air pressing down on earth. Air pressure can change from place to place, and this causes air to move, flowing from areas of high pressure toward areas of low pressure. It’s the same as barometric pressure.

Almanac:              A calendar that uses astronomical information and weather data. Almanacs list tide data, give the positions of the stars and forecast weather each day.

Anemometer:        A weather instrument that measures the wind speed.

Anticyclone:         A high-pressure system that moves in a clockwise motion. These bring you sunny skies.

Arctic Air:           An air mass that originates over Canada and brings us cold temperatures.

Atmosphere:         A layer of gases surrounding a planet. The Earth’s atmosphere is divided into five layers: exosphere, thermosphere, mesosphere, stratosphere, and troposphere.

Barometer:           An instrument that measures air pressure.

Barometric Pressure:      The same as air pressure. The pressure exerted by the atmosphere at a given point.

Blizzard:               An intense winter storm with winds of 35 mph. or higher with falling and/or blowing snow to reduce visibility below ¼ mile for at least three hours.

Breeze:                A light wind.

Ceiling:                 The height of the lowest layer of broken or overcast cloud layer.

Cirrus Clouds:        Thin, wispy clouds that form high in the atmosphere as their water vapor freezes into ice crystals. Cirrus clouds are a principal cloud type.

Clear Sky:             When the sky has no clouds.

Clouds:                  A visible collection of tiny water droplets or, at colder temperatures, ice crystals floating in the air above the surface. Clouds come in many different sizes and shapes. Clouds can form at ground level, which is fog, at great heights in the atmosphere, and everywhere in between. Clouds offer important clues to understanding and forecasting the weather.

Cold Front:            A boundary between two air masses, one cold and the other warm, moving so that the colder air replaces the warmer air.

Condensation:   The change of water vapor to liquid water, as when fog or dew forms.

Coriolis Force:       A force that deflects moving objects to one side because of the Earth’s rotation. The object is still going straight but the Earth moves underneath it, making it look like it is moving to one side. In the Northern Hemisphere, the Coriolis Force deflects objects to the right.

Cumulonimbus:       A dense and vertically developed cloud that produces thunderstorms. The cloud can bring heavy showers, hail, lightning, high winds and sometimes tornadoes.

Cumulus Clouds:      Fluffy, mid-level clouds that develop in towering shapes and signal fair weather. Cumulus clouds are a principal cloud type.

Cyclone:                A low pressure system. It is a term variously applied to tornadoes, waterspouts, dust storms, hurricanes and even to any strong wind.

Dew:                     Water that forms on objects close to the ground when its temperature falls below the dew point of the surface air.

Dew Point:            The temperature at which water starts to condense out of a particular air mass. The dew point temperature changes only when the moisture content of the air changes. The higher the dew point, the greater the moisture content is in the air.

Disturbance:         A low pressure system, a tropical area of storminess, or any area in which the weather is in a state of cloudiness, precipitation or wind.

Drizzle:                Light rain consisting of water droplets that are very small.

Drought:               A period when a region has a lack of rainfall. Droughts can affect a fairly small area for a season or an entire continent for years. Too little rainfall can cause shortages in the water supply, destroy crops, and cause widespread hunger. Droughts also dry up soil, which then gets picked up by the wind and causes dust storms.

El Niño:                The unusual warming of the surface waters of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. It causes changes in wind patterns that have major effects on weather all across the globe.

Erosion:                The wearing away of the Earth’s surface by the action of the sea, running water, moving ice, precipitation or wind.

Evaporation:         The process of changing a liquid (like water) to a vapor. It’s the opposite of condensation.

Flash Flood:           Sudden flooding that occurs when floodwaters rise swiftly with no warning within several hours of an intense rain. They often occur after intense rainfall from slow moving thunderstorms. In narrow canyons and valleys, floodwaters flow faster than on flatter ground and can be quite destructive.

Flood:                   It results from days of heavy rain and/or melting snows, when rivers rise and go over their banks.

Flood Stage:          The level at which a stream, river or other body of water begins to or will begin to leave its banks.

Fog:                     A cloud on the ground that reduces visibility.

Freeze:                 Occurs when the temperature falls below 32° F over a large area for an extended period of time.

Freezing Rain:       Rain that falls in liquid form but freezes upon impact to form a coating of glaze on the ground and on exposed objects.

Front:                   A boundary between two different air masses, resulting in stormy weather. A front usually is a line of separation between warm and cold air masses.

Frost:                   White ice crystals that form on a surface, like the ground or leaves of a plant. Frost is created when the air temperature drops below freezing and the water vapor in the air freezes into ice crystals.

Funnel Cloud:         A tornado that doesn’t reach the ground. It has a rotating cone-shaped column of air extending downward from the base of a cumulonimbus or thunderstorm cloud, but whose circulation does not make contact with the ground.

Gulf Stream:         A warm swift current in the Atlantic Ocean that flows from the Gulf of Mexico along the eastern coast of the United States and then northeast toward Europe.

Hail:                     A mixture of liquid and frozen precipitation. Hailstones are composed of layers of ice and can become quite large when strong gusts of upward-moving air keep them inside the cloud. As they move around inside the cloud they collide with raindrops, adding layers and growing before they fall to earth.

Haze:                   Tiny particles of dust, smoke, salt or pollution droplets that are scattered through the air. The particles are too small to be seen or felt individually, but they diminish visibility.

Heat Advisory:      An advisory issued by the National Weather Service within 12 hours of the onset of the following conditions: a heat index of at least 105° F but less than 115° F for less than 3 hours per day or if nighttime lows remain above 80° F for 2 consecutive days.

Heat Index:          The ‘feel like’ temperature on a hot day. The heat index is a number that expresses the warming effect of humidity at different temperatures. Only air temperature and relative humidity are used in the calculation of heat index.

High Pressure System:    A whirling mass of cool, dry air that generally brings fair weather and light winds. When viewed from above, winds spiral out of a high-pressure center in a clockwise rotation in the Northern Hemisphere. These bring sunny skies.

Humidity:             The amount of water vapor in the air.

Hurricane:            An intense storm with swirling winds up to 150 mph.  Usually around 300 miles across, hurricanes are 1,000-5,000 times larger than tornadoes.  Hurricanes are known by different names around the world.  In Japan they are Typhoons while Australians call them Willy-Willys.

Hurricane Season: A six-month period from June 1 to Nov. 30, when conditions are favorable for hurricane development.

Hygrometer:         An instrument that measures the water vapor content of air or the humidity.

Ice:                     A water substance in the solid phase.

Ice Storms:          They occur when temperatures below a raining cloud are very cold, causing the raindrops to become supercooled (less than 32° F). Freezing rain covers streets, houses, and trees with heavy layers of ice, causing concern for dangerous driving, and damage from the weight of the ice.

Indian Summer:     A warm, tranquil spell of weather in the autumn, especially after a period of cold weather. The term is used most often in the Midwest and New England.

Inversion:             A layer in the atmosphere where the temperature increases with height.

Jet Stream:          A strong high level wind found in the atmosphere that can reach speeds in excess of 200 mph, usually occurring 6 to 9 miles above the ground. These winds often steer the movement of surface air masses and weather systems.

La Niña:               A widespread cooling of the surface waters of the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. It’s the opposite of El Niño.

Lightning:             An enormous and very hot spark of electricity produced by thunderstorms. The lightning bolt itself can heat the air through which it travels to 54,000° F.

Low Pressure System:                  A whirling mass of warm, moist air that generally brings stormy weather with strong winds. When viewed from above, winds spiral into a low-pressure center in a counterclockwise rotation in the Northern Hemisphere.

Meteorologist:       A scientist who studies and predicts the weather. Meteorologists use sophisticated equipment, like Doppler radar and supercomputers, but they also rely on old-fashioned sky watching.

Meteorology:         The study of the atmosphere and all its phenomena, including weather and how to forecast it.

Mist:                    Water droplets so small that they are floating in the air. Because mist droplets do not fall, mist is a type of fog.

Monsoon:              A seasonal wind, found especially in Asia that reverses direction between summer and winter and often brings heavy rains.

Muggy:                 The description of warm and humid air.

National Hurricane Center:          The federal agency that issues watches, warnings, forecasts, and analyses of hazardous tropical weather.

National Weather Service:          The federal agency that provides weather, hydrologic, and climate forecasts and warnings for the United States.

Nor'easter:           A powerful low-pressure system that moves north along the Atlantic Coast. It’s called a Nor’easter because the coastal winds are from the northeast. Heavy rain, snow and high surf often occur.

Occluded Front: A combination of two fronts that form when a cold front catches up and overtakes a warm front.

Overcast:              When a widespread layer of clouds covers all of the sky. There may be thin or bright spots in the cloud layer but no openings.

Ozone:                 A form of oxygen that has a weak chlorine odor. Ozone heats the upper atmosphere by absorbing ultraviolet from sunlight. In the troposphere, ozone is a pollutant, but in the stratosphere it filters out harmful ultraviolet radiation.

Precipitation:        General name for water in any form falling from clouds. This includes rain, drizzle, hail, snow and sleet, although dew, frost and fog are not considered to be precipitation.

Radar:                  An electronic instrument, which determines the direction and distance of objects that reflect radio energy back to the radar site. This is what meteorologists use to see rain or snow.

Rain:                    Liquid precipitation in the form of water drops that falls from clouds for several hours.

Rainbow:               One of the most common but most spectacular sky displays. Rainbows are caused by the reflection and refraction (bending) of sunlight passing through raindrops. In heavy rains a double rainbow can often be seen. The sequence of a rainbow’s colors is red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

Relative Humidity:          The ratio of water vapor contained in the air compared to the maximum amount of moisture that the air can hold at that specific temperature and pressure.

Ridge:                  An elongated area of high pressure.

Saffir-Simpson Scale:                A hurricane intensity scale that relates hurricane damage to wind speeds and central air pressures.
         Category 1: wind speeds 74-95 mph
         Category 2: wind speeds 96-110 mph
         Category 3: wind speeds 111-130 mph
         Category 4: wind speeds 131-155 mph
         Category 5: wind speeds over 155 mph

Seasons:               The earth's position in relation to the sun is always changing. The earth spins around its axis, an imaginary line that runs between the north and south poles. One complete spin takes 24 hours, and at any moment, half of the earth is lit and warm (day), while the other half faces away from the sun (night). While it spins the earth also moves around the sun in a circle, called an orbit, and the orbit takes one year to complete. As the earth moves and spins it is tilted in one direction at an angle of 23 degrees. It stays tilted all the time as it orbits the sun so that each area of earth receives different amounts of the sun's energy at different times of the year. This is why we have seasons.

Severe Thunderstorm:     A thunderstorm with winds of 58 mph or greater and/or with hail ¾ inch in diameter or larger.

Severe Weather:            Any kind of destructive or life-threatening weather event. Thunderstorms can be destructive, while tornadoes, high winds, hail, excessive rainfall and lightning can be life threatening.

Showers:               Rain falling from the sky causing puddles to form on the ground.

Shear:                  A variation in the wind speed and/or direction over a short distance.

Sleet:                   Solid precipitation in the form of ice pellets form when raindrops, originating in warmer air aloft, freeze as they fall through subfreezing air near the surface of the Earth.

Snow:                   Precipitation that is composed of white ice crystals that fall from clouds. Snow may stick together to form snowflakes, which have a hexagonal or six-sided shape.

Snow Flurries:       Brief occurrences of very light snow, which produce little or no accumulation.

Snow Showers:      Brief occurrences of light to moderate snow, which could produce some snowfall accumulations.

Snowflakes:          Packets of falling snow formed when at least a few ice crystals are matted together. The largest snowflakes tend to occur when temperatures are near freezing. Snowflakes have a hexagonal or six-sided shape.

Sprinkle:               A very light shower of rain just barely wetting the ground.

Squall Line:           A line of thunderstorms sometimes several hundred miles long that can produce strong thunderstorms and sometimes severe weather.

Stable Air:            Air that is colder than its surroundings and is resistant to upward movement.

Stationary Front: A boundary between two air masses that more or less doesn’t move, but some stationary fronts can wobble back and forth for several hundred miles a day.

Storm:                  Any disturbed state of the atmosphere that creates unpleasant weather like rain, lightning, thunder, hail, snow, sleet, and freezing rain.

Stratus Clouds:      Low-lying, gray and sheetlike clouds that often produce drizzle. Stratus clouds are a principal cloud type.

Supercell:             A severe thunderstorm whose updrafts and downdrafts are in near balance for several hours. Supercells often produce large hail and tornadoes.

Temperature:        The measurement of how hot or cold something is.

Thermometer:       The instrument that measures temperature.

Thunder:               The explosive sound of air expanding as it is heated by lightning.

Thunderstorm:       A storm produced by a cumulonimbus cloud and always has lightning and thunder. Rain, hail and high winds may or may not occur.

Tidal Wave:           A destructive and high rise of water along a seashore. Tidal waves are caused by underwater earthquakes, volcanoes or landslides, and have nothing to do with tides.

Tornado:               Begins as a funnel cloud with spinning columns of air that drop down from a severe thunderstorm. When they reach the ground they become tornadoes. Tornadoes are between 300 and 2,000 feet wide and travel at speeds of 20 to 45 miles per hour. They usually only last a few minutes, but their spinning winds, up to 300 miles per hour, can lift houses into the air and rip trees from the ground.

Trade Winds:        Winds which blow from tropical high pressure belts toward the equatorial region of low pressure. In the Northern Hemisphere, the trade winds blow from the northeast.

Tropical Storm:     A low-pressure disturbance that forms over warm tropical ocean waters.  In the United States, a tropical storm has winds between 39 -73 mph.

Tropical Depression:       A low-pressure disturbance that forms over warm tropical ocean waters and produces winds of 38 mph or less.

Trough:                An elongated area of low pressure.

Tsunami:               A Japanese term for an unusually large ocean wave caused by undersea earthquake, landslide, or volcanic eruption. Only a few inches high in the open ocean, tsunamis steepen and rise in shallow water and can reach heights of 200 feet.

Typhoon:              A hurricane in the western Pacific Ocean.

Unstable Air:        Air that is warmer than its surroundings and tends to rise, leading to the formation of clouds and precipitation.

Veering Wind:       A wind that changes its direction in a clockwise motion. For example, a west wind changing to a northwest wind.

Visibility:              The greatest distance that is possible for a person to see with their eyes. When fog occurs, a person’s visibility is lowered.

Wall Cloud:            An area of clouds that extends underneath a thunderstorm. If a wall cloud rotates, it might form a tornado.

Warm Front:         The boundary between two air masses, one cool and the other warm, moving so that the warmer air replaces the cooler air.

Warning:              A forecast issued by the National Weather Service indicating that a specific weather event is actually occurring.

Watch:                 A forecast issued by the National Weather Service indicating that conditions are favorable for a particular weather hazard.

Water Vapor:        A gas in the atmosphere. There is very little of it in the air. Water vapor is only 1 to 4% of the atmosphere, but without it we would have no clouds, rain, or snow. Water vapor is one of the greenhouse gases which help to trap the earth's heat.

Waterspout:          A tornado occurring over water.

Weather:              Describes the condition of the air at a particular time and place. Weather also tells how the air moves (wind) and describes anything it might be carrying such as rain, snow or clouds. Thunder, lightning, rainbows, haze and other special events are all part of weather.

Wind:                   The movement of air relative to the surface of the earth. It’s considered to be severe if 58 mph or greater. Hurricane winds are 74 mph or greater and the highest tornado winds are about 318 mph.

Wind Advisory:               An advisory from the National Weather Service when the winds are between 29-38 mph lasting more than one hour, or when wind gusts are between 44-57 mph.

Wind Chill:            The ‘feel like’ temperature on a cold day when you factor in the winds.

Wind Chill Factor: A number that expresses the cooling effect of moving air at different temperatures. Only air temperature and wind speed is used in the calculation of wind chill temperatures. A wind chill temperature of 30° F below zero or colder on exposed skin can cause frostbite in a very short period of time.

Zonal Flow:            When the winds in the upper levels of the atmosphere blow from coast to coast with little or no deviation. In other words, the jet stream creates a straight line.


Like the Burrometer – Have your den build one!!!



As the Cub Scouts learn about the local weatherman’s job, the National Weather Service, and how they affect our lives, they also learn the responsibility held by these important people. In den meetings, the leaders will tell about the National Weather Service, study relative humidity, and study different types of clouds. The scouts will learn how to measure rain, make a weather vane, and how weather affects farmers and airline pilots. To make pack meeting more meaningful, you could invite a meteorologist as a guest speaker. Ask him to assist with the awards. If a guest is unavailable, the Cubmaster could dress like a weatherman to present the awards. Use a large map or outline of the U.S. as a backdrop. The name of each scout receiving an award can be on either a cloud or raindrop and put on the map. (Under each cloud or raindrop is a sun with their name on it). As the scouts receive their award the cloud or raindrop will be taken from the map, leaving only a sun with their name, making it an all ‘Baloo’ skies.


Materials found in Baloo's Bugle may be used by Scouters for Scouting activities provided that Baloo's Bugle and the original contributors are cited as the source of the material.

Materials found at the U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. Website 1997-2006 may be reproduced and used locally by Scouting volunteers for training purposes consistent with the programs of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) or other Scouting and Guiding Organizations. No material found here may be used or reproduced for electronic redistribution or for commercial or other non-Scouting purposes without the express permission of the U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. (USSSP) or other copyright holders. USSSP is not affiliated with BSA and does not speak on behalf of BSA. Opinions expressed on these web pages are those of the web authors.