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Updated 9:00 AM March 20, 2009

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Weather Dance game combines meteorology and basketball

Amateur weather casters can test their forecasting skills in the online Weather Dance game during the "Big Dance" NCAA basketball tournaments.

Weather Dance allows participants to predict which team's city will be hotter or colder on game day in each round of the men's and women's tournaments. This year, the men's tournament will culminate near Weather Dance headquarters, as the Final Four is in Detroit.

Site registration is open at

Players can make forecasts starting March 16 for the men's tournament cities and March 17 for the women's tournament cities. All predictions must be made before 11:59 p.m. March 18.

"We designed the Weather Dance as a fun way to connect science, in this case weather forecasting, with a well-known cultural event," says Perry Samson, professor and associate chair of the Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences Department. "With more than 128 teams participating in the tournaments, it seemed like a great connection."

This is the fifth year for the game. Last year more than 2,000 people played. Many science teachers involve their classes as part of meteorology units.

The winning teacher will receive an invitation and $500 to join the Texas Tech/University of Michigan Storm Chasing team this spring for a day of tornado chasing.

Other winners will receive a copy of the book "Extreme Weather," by Christopher C. Burt or an extreme weather mug.

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