Related topics: satellite · weather

Google gives glimpse of Internet glasses

Google on Wednesday gave the world a glimpse of its vision for letting people look at life through Internet-tinted glasses.

Haptic cube lets you feel tomorrow's temps

( -- Will it be an invention joining a storage room of other inventions? Or kicked further up to gadget boutiques for the very rich? Or a popular gadget for many worldwide? Whatever its destiny, the device concept ...

Why the weather forecast will always be a bit wrong

The science of weather forecasting falls to public scrutiny every single day. When the forecast is correct, we rarely comment, but we are often quick to complain when the forecast is wrong. Are we ever likely to achieve a ...

Climate change: meteorologists preparing for the worst

Intense aerial turbulence, ice storms and scorching heatwaves, huge ocean waves—the world's climate experts forecast apocalyptic weather over the coming decades at a conference in Montreal that ended Thursday.

Temperature extremes on Mars

"Mars ain't no kind of place to raise your kids; in fact it's cold as hell" sang Elton John in "Rocket Man", and although the song was released in 1972—four years before the first successful landing on Mars—his weather ...

Elusive El Nino challenges NOAA's 2012 US winter outlook

(—The western half of the continental U.S. and central and northern Alaska could be in for a warmer-than-average winter, while most of Florida might be colder-than-normal December through February, according to ...

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Weather forecasting

Weather forecasting is the application of science and technology to predict the state of the atmosphere for a future time and a given location. Human beings have attempted to predict the weather informally for millennia, and formally since at least the nineteenth century. Weather forecasts are made by collecting quantitative data about the current state of the atmosphere and using scientific understanding of atmospheric processes to project how the atmosphere will evolve.

Once an all human endeavor based mainly upon changes in barometric pressure, current weather conditions, and sky condition, forecast models are now used to determine future conditions. Human input is still required to pick the best possible forecast model to base the forecast upon, which involves pattern recognition skills, teleconnections, knowledge of model performance, and knowledge of model biases. The chaotic nature of the atmosphere, the massive computational power required to solve the equations that describe the atmosphere, error involved in measuring the initial conditions, and an incomplete understanding of atmospheric processes mean that forecasts become less accurate as the difference in current time and the time for which the forecast is being made (the range of the forecast) increases. The use of ensembles and model consensus help narrow the error and pick the most likely outcome.

There are a variety of end uses to weather forecasts. Weather warnings are important forecasts because they are used to protect life and property. Forecasts based on temperature and precipitation are important to agriculture, and therefore to traders within commodity markets. Temperature forecasts are used by utility companies to estimate demand over coming days. On an everyday basis, people use weather forecasts to determine what to wear on a given day. Since outdoor activities are severely curtailed by heavy rain, snow and the wind chill, forecasts can be used to plan activities around these events, and to plan ahead and survive them.

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