Weather forecastingatmospheric pressure, wind speed and direction, precipitation, cloud cover, temperature, humidity, frontal movements, etc.
Meteorologists use several tools to help them forecast the weather for an area. These fall under two categories: tools for collecting data and tools for coordinating and interpreting data.
- Tools for collecting data include instruments such as thermometers, barometers, hygrometers, rain gauges, anemometers, wind socks and vanes, Doppler radar and satellite imagery (such as the GOES weather satellite).
- Tools for coordinating and interpreting data include weather maps and computer modelss.
Weather forecasting is an exact science of data collecting, but interpretation of the data collected can be difficult because of the chaotic nature of the factors that affect the weather. These factors can follow generally recognized trends, but meteorologists understand that many things can affect these trends. With the advent of computer models and satellite imagery, weather forecasting has improved greatly. Since lives and livelihoods depend on accurate weather forecasting, these improvements have helped not only the understanding of weather, but how it affects living and nonliving things on Earth.
Below is a sample hurricane warning issued by the Cape Cod Weather Center:
EXTREMELY DANGEROUS HURRICANE ISABEL UPDATED
As of the 5PM advisory, hurricane Isabel has been updated
to a category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Intensity Scale.
Isabel's position is at 21.6N and 55.3W with maximum
sustained winds at 155 KTS (160 MPH.)
The exact track of Isabel is still very uncertain past
the 5th day. The GFDL has Isabel heading in the Long
Island direction. Most of the models agree on a slow but
steady WNW to NW turn over the next 3 days. All interests
on the Eastern Seaboard should monitor this extremely
dangerous threat. It is still too early to determine the
exact track of Isabel. If Isabel does indeed head up the
Eastern Seaboard I am expecting the possible strike area
will be from Cape Hatteras to Block Island.
Repeating the 5PM advisory, Hurricane Isabel is at 21.6N
and 55.3W with maximum sustained winds at 155 KTS.
Cape Cod, Mass.See also: Meteorology, Weather control, Afghanistan Meteorological Authority, TV Nova; Accuweather