Related topics: weather

How cold was the ice age? Researchers now know

A University of Arizona-led team has nailed down the temperature of the last ice age—the Last Glacial Maximum of 20,000 years ago—to about 46 degrees Fahrenheit (7.8 C).

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 ...

Experiment closes critical gap in weather forecasting

Scientists working on the next frontier of weather forecasting are hoping that weather conditions 3-to-4 weeks out will soon be as readily available as seven-day forecasts. Having this type of weather information—called ...

Sudden turbulence that injured dozens is hard to predict

Passengers on a flight from Canada to Australia said they had no warning about turbulence that suddenly slammed people into the ceiling of the plane and injured more than three dozen—a phenomenon that experts say can be ...

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 ...

Explosive origins of 'secondary' ice—and snow

Where does snow come from? This may seem like a simple question to ponder as half the planet emerges from a season of watching whimsical flakes fall from the sky—and shoveling them from driveways. But a new study on how ...

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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