– People who study weather and make weather forecasts are called meteorologists.
– Meteorologists use advanced technologies like satellites, weather balloons, radar, and computers to forecast weather.
– Before 1980, weather forecasts were only accurate for one day due to a lack of technology.
– Now, weather forecasts are usually accurate for 3-5 days.
– Weather Satellites
These are spacecraft that orbit the Earth.
These gather data and send images to weather stations on the ground.
High-orbit satellites stay over 36 000km above the Earth and send back data on clouds and heat distribution around the Earth.
Low-orbit satellites stay at about 1000km above the Earth and these send back data on wind patterns and changes in air temperatures and water vapour.
– Weather Balloons
These are helium-filled balloons that collect data as they rise into the atmosphere.
These collect data on temperature, pressure, humidity, and ice crystals.
This is used to detect and track thunderstorms and tornadoes.
– Meteorologists collect data from all of these pieces of technology and use their knowledge to estimate what weather patterns will exist in a local area.
– Let’s look at some weather patterns:
– If skies are clear and winds are light in the evening, there will be cooler temperatures in the morning with dew or frost.
– If the wind changes from the northeast to the north to the northwest, it will be clear and cooler.
– If the wind changes from the northwest to the west to the southwest, it will be cloudy and warmer.
If low, rounded clouds have developed before noon, rain or thunderstorms are likely to occur in