And now for the weather

Meteorologist Ashley Batey from WBTV 3 talked to students from Sunshine Elementary School on Tuesday.
Oct. 31, 2012 @ 09:52 AM

BOSTIC— Snow, hurricanes and tornadoes were the topics of discussion for some local students on Tuesday.

Students at Sunshine Elementary School learned about weather first-hand from Ashley Batey, meteorologist at WBTV 3 News. Batey set up a slide show in the media center and talked to the second, fourth and fifth grade classes about her job and the reasons that storms like Hurricane Sandy occur.

"The second and fifth grades will be studying weather patterns, temperatures and wind speed in their classes. The fourth grade is using 'Weather or Not' as their theme for their Common Core Language Arts standards. The books they are using for that are all about weather," said Robin Smith, media coordinator. "The second grade classes have been using the Weather Underground application on the iPads that we purchased with the Facebook grant. They are using the technology to look at weather data and switch weather stations."

The students and teachers asked Batey quite a few questions about Hurricane Sandy, and how the full moon played a part in its strength.

"With Hurricane Sandy, we had a couple of things working against us. It was a really strong storm because of all of the low pressure. The lower the pressure, the stronger the storm. With Sandy, we had a pressure of 942 millibars, which is low considering the average pressure is around 1,010. The lowest pressure we have ever seen was with Hurricane Wilma, which was 895 millibars," Batey said. "With the full moon, the tides are farther inland, so there is more water closer to the shore. That just made matters worse."

Batey also talked to the students about what precautions to take in case of severe weather.

"During severe weather, you just remember to hide from wind and run from water. If it is a tornado, you need to be in the basement or a room in the middle of the house with no windows," Batey told the students. "If you don't have a basement, you can go to the bathroom or a closet. In many of pictures of the aftermath of a tornado, the only thing left standing is the bathtub or the toilet."

Batey says she always enjoys talking to students.

"I love it. You never know what they will ask, so you have to think on your toes. But this gives them something to add to their classes when they are learning about the weather," Batey said.

Principal Neil Higgins said the students and teachers enjoyed Batey's presentation.

"We loved having her here. She is a wonderful speaker. Weather is a big part of the curriculum for our second and fifth grades, so this fits right in with what they will be studying," Higgins said. "It is also the perfect time for us to have her here because of everything going on with Hurricane Sandy."