How To Forecast The Weather

The science of forecasting and understanding the weather is called meteorology. A meteorologist spends years in college studying the many aspects of climate that combine to create weather. In different parts of the world, winds that blow high up in the Earth’s atmosphere follow patterns called “jet streams”.  Areas of high and low atmospheric pressure move along paths influenced by these streams of air. It takes sophisticated equipment, satellites and computers to forecast weather from this perspective. But, even amateurs can do a bit of weather forecasting if they are observant and prepared.

Every good weather forecaster needs a few simple tools: a thermometer, a rain gauge, a barometer and a windsock or an anemometer. Each of these tools can play a part in predicting what the weather holds for you in the future.

Forecast Weather

We all know that thermometers tell us the air temperature. By tracking the temperature over a period of days, we can tell if we’re in a “trend”. Warming or cooling trends often factor in to the prediction of weather. Rain gauges are used to measure the accumulation of rain. If precipitation is frozen, a ruler can be substituted. Rain measurements are good ways to predict humidity levels and heavy rains often can be harbingers of fog. The barometer predicts changes in barometric pressure. Changes in pressure mean changes in weather, with lowering pressures most often associated with precipitation and high pressure being more indicative of fair weather. The anemometer measures wind speed and direction. Since fronts tend to move from one direction towards another in every part of the world, wind patterns often tell us if the storm clouds on the horizon are headed our way.

Of course, the single most valuable tool in the amateur weather forecasters toolbox is their skill at observation. Watching the clouds and feeling the wind are probably the best tools of weather prediction even today.

Most of us are fortunate enough to have access to reliable weather forecasts that are made by highly skilled professionals. But it is still fun to try your luck at weather forecasting. And, given the temperamental aspect of weather, sometimes your guess might be as good as the meteorologist’s best prediction.

Filed Under: Science & Nature


About the Author: Daniel Sherwin holds a degree in Chemistry and plans to be a scientist sometime soon. He finds himself very close to the nature. Currently, he is living in New York, USA.

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