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This lesson introduces what a database is, and how to use the TEMPEST database of extreme weather.

Key questions

  • What is an extreme weather event?

  • What kind of weather might be involved in an extreme weather event?

  • What kind of impacts might a severe weather event have?

  • What is a database?

Key ideas

Extreme weather is when a weather event is significantly different from the average or usual weather pattern. This may take place over one day or a period of time.

Extreme weather can have impacts on people and environments. The TEMPEST Database has documented accounts of extreme weather going back over hundreds of years from a rich variety of diverse sources that include: newspaper reports; diaries, letters and postcards, as well as official meteorological records. This data base can be searched using dates, types of weather and impacts as queries and the results mapped.

Listen to Professor Georgina Endfield discuss TEMPEST in our #AskTheGeographer podcast

Additional resources

  • World maps / atlases

  • Internet

  • Digital mapping software access

Web links


Digimap for Schools

Meteorological Office Severe winter events

TEMPEST database


File nameFiles

File type



TEMPEST Lesson one


3 MB

TEMPEST Lesson one (1)


408 KB

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