Related topics: weather

Applications for a newly developed risk and resilience tool

By the mid-century, many parts of the United States will experience longer summers with more extreme heat events. While swelteringly hot days are uncomfortable, they can become dangerous for some households, particularly ...

New England knows winter, but why so dangerously cold?

New Englanders are used to cold temperatures, but a combination of extreme cold accompanied by powerful winds is downright dangerous, and enough to send even bundled-up skiers scampering indoors.

Transforming chaos into manufacturable forms with 3D printing

The further out in time, the more unreliable a weather forecast. That's because small variations in initial weather conditions can completely change the entire system, making it unpredictable. Put another way, in the "butterfly ...

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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.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA