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Europe wildfire risk heightened by early heat waves, drought

Extended drought conditions in several Mediterranean countries, a heat wave last week that reached northern Germany and high fuel costs for aircraft needed to fight wildfires have heightened concerns across Europe this summer.

After Yellowstone, floodwaters menace Montana's largest city

Devastating floodwaters that wiped out miles of roads and hundreds of bridges in Yellowstone National Park and swamped scores of homes in surrounding communities moved downstream Wednesday and threatened to cut off fresh ...

Sizzling temperatures in store across southwestern US

Scorching temperatures are in store for the southwestern U.S. over the next several days, with cities like Phoenix, Las Vegas and Palm Springs in California expected to top 110 degrees.

NASA eyes November for launch of NOAA's JPSS-2

NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are now targeting Nov. 1, 2022, as the new launch date for NOAA's Joint Polar Satellite System-2 (JPSS-2) satellite mission. During recent tests of a key ...

Scientists hone long-range forecasting of US tornadoes, hail

Scientists at Northern Illinois University continue to hone extended-range weather forecasting, identifying patterns halfway around the globe that will heighten the probability weeks later for hail- and tornado-producing ...

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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