Meteorologists use a variety of tools to help them gather information about weather and climate. Some more familiar ones are thermometers which measure air temperature, anemometers which gauge wind speeds, and barometers which provide information on air pressure.
How is the weather forecasting helpful?
Accurate weather predictions are important for planning our day-to-day activities. Farmers need information to help them plan for the planting and harvesting of their crops. Beyond that, detailed forecasts are less useful, since atmospheric conditions such as temperature and wind direction are very complex.
Meteorologists are able to predict the changes in weather patterns by using several different tools. For example, weather balloons are special balloons that have a weather pack on them that measures temperature, air pressure, wind speed, and wind direction in all the layers of the troposphere.
There is not much we can accurately predict 5 days into the future, so relatively speaking, the 5-day forecast comes a lot closer to doing that than most aspects of life. As for the 10-day forecast, it's likely that meteorologists know exactly how unpredictable the weather conditions 10 days in the future can be.
Since air masses interact in a relatively predictable way, meteorologists are able to predict weather patterns with some degree of accuracy. As explained above, Fronts are responsible for most changes in weather. They occur when a large mass of cold air meets a large mass of warm air.
Satellites, reconnaissance aircraft, Ships, buoys, radar, and other land-based platforms are important tools used in hurricane tracking and prediction. While a tropical cyclone is over the open ocean, remote measurements of the storm's intensity and track are made primarily via satellites.
Tools Used in Meteorology
- Thermometer. An outdoor thermometer gives a reading of the current ambient air temperature, informing you at a glance how hot or cold the weather is.
- Barometer. A barometer indicates air pressure, usually in inches or millimeters of mercury.
- Computer Models.
- Weather Satellites.
Because of their dangerous wind speeds and associated thunderstorms as well as their unpredictability, tornadoes are notoriously difficult to measure. Tools used to measure tornadoes include barometers, Doppler radar and "turtles."
Answer: The Doppler radar used in weather forecasting measures the direction and speed, or velocity, of objects such as drops of precipitation. This is called the Doppler Effect and is used to determine whether movement in the atmosphere is horizontally toward or away from the radar, which aides in weather forecasting.
A barometer measures atmospheric pressure, a thermometer measures the temperature, and an anemometer measures wind speed and direction. Weather radar detects precipitation in the clouds, and the Doppler radar takes measurements of winds in clouds in order to predict severe storms and tornadoes.
Thunderstorm forecasting is very similar to the forecasting used to predict tornadoes. To forecast thunderstorms, meteorologists use a variety of data. Surface and upper air observations are studied to find areas of low level moisture and instability, and to determine how winds aloft might influence storm development.
Water evaporates from the cloth, causing the temperatures on that thermometer to be lower the the other. A RAIN GAUGE measures the amount of rain that has fallen over a specific time period. A WIND VANE is an instrument that determines the direction from which the wind is blowing. An ANEMOMETER measures wind speed.
Tornado Forecasting. Meteorologists at the NOAA Storm Prediction Center (SPC) issue daily forecasts, or convective outlooks, for organized severe thunderstorms over the U.S. based on current weather observations and forecast models. They also closely monitor areas they think are at a higher risk for tornadoes.
Typical weather stations have the following instruments:
- Thermometer for measuring air and sea surface temperature.
- Barometer for measuring atmospheric pressure.
- Hygrometer for measuring humidity.
- Anemometer for measuring wind speed.
- Pyranometer for measuring solar radiation.
Scientists can predict the number of named storms and their breakdown by intensity (i.e. the number of hurricanes, tropical storms, intense hurricanes, etc.). They can also predict approximate wind speeds and intensity for sustained winds. Once a hurricane has formed, it can be tracked.
A weather or sounding balloon is a balloon (specifically a type of high-altitude balloon) that carries instruments aloft to send back information on atmospheric pressure, temperature, humidity and wind speed by means of a small, expendable measuring device called a radiosonde.
Weather satellites carry instruments called radiometers (not cameras) that scan the Earth to form images. The first is a "geostationary" orbit, with the satellite at a very high altitude (about 22,500 miles) and orbiting over the equator at the same rate that the Earth turns.
A barometer is a scientific instrument used in meteorology to measure atmospheric pressure. A simple barometer consists of a long glass tube (closed at one end, open at the other) filled with mercury and turned upside down into a container of mercury.
Meteorologists use a variety of tools to predict floods. These tools include satellites, rain gauges, Airborne Lasers and Weather Radars. Rain gauges are not the best tool to use to predict floods. Airborne lasers are attached to airplanes.
The Earth's atmosphere exerts a pressure on the surface. Areas of high and low pressure are caused by ascending and descending air. As air warms, it ascends leading to low pressure at the surface. As air cools, it descends leading to high pressure at the surface.
There are two physical differences between Low pressure systems and High pressure systems. Secondly, is the atmospheric motion that they cause. These "motions" (caused by these circulations) are the building blocks in our atmosphere. They give us our weather.
The differences in the temperature, pressure, density and moisture content of the air masses makes one front slide over the other one, which can affect weather patterns by creating cloudy skies, thunderstorms and gusty winds. Thunderstorms occur when warm, wet air rises quickly. This rising air is called an updraft.