How do weather conditions affect your daily life? For some people, it's not just a matter of getting through traffic, but surviving. meteorology, the scientific study of the atmosphere and the myriad phenomena that keep it constantly swirling and raging all around us.
Although the weather is of interest to, and affects, us all, there are specialized scientists who study the weather in great detail. These people are known as meteorologists and they measure and record lots of different aspects of the weather, including temperature, rainfall and wind speed and direction. By doing this and carefully studying the weather, it is possible to forecast how it will change in the future.
In order to do this, information is collected on all the different weather variables from around the world. Weather stations, balloons high in the atmosphere, satellites in space and ships at sea all contribute by collecting the data we require.
Weather forecasts today depend on collecting and analyzing data and measurements from around the world. As a variety of atmospheric conditions need to be recorded, a wide range of equipment is needed to obtain that information.
Weather is the combined short-term conditions found in the lower atmosphere. These conditions include precipitation, or rain and snow, as well as wind, pressure, storminess, cloudiness, and various other atmospheric conditions. What will the weather be like in exactly 37 days? Will it be rainy, or sunny? Cold or warm? It is impossible to know. Weather patterns, are erratic and very difficult to project. Weather is a every changing short-term, localized phenomena
Anemometer – measures the speed or force of the wind. The speed that the cups rotate shows the wind strength. Barometer – measures air pressure. Pressure falls when it is about to rain and rises when the weather is dry. You can see this as the needle moves. Weather Vane – measures wind direction. It is always recorded as the direction from which the winds are blowing, ie: a south-westerly wind is blowing from the south-west.
Hygrometer – measures the amount of moisture in the air. It usually incorporates a needle that is made to move by a paper strip which shrinks or stretches depending on the dampness of the air (i.e.: the humidity). Rain Gauge – shows how much precipitation (rain, snow or hail) that falls each day. Sundial – is used to tell what time of day it is using the shadows cast by the sun. Thermometer – measures temperature in degrees centigrade (°C) or degrees Fahrenheit (°F) using a liquid such as mercury that expands when it warms up. It then moves up a thin tube marked with a temperature scale, and will fall back down the tube as the temperature falls and the liquid contracts. Wind Sock – shows the speed and direction of the wind. They are most often used at airports, seaports and on other open areas such as mountain roads.
It is not just meteorologists who predict the weather - people have been doing it for hundreds of years. Research weather lore, and see some of the more traditional versions of weather forecasting. You will then be able to decide whether you think these methods are reliable, or whether they are just old wives’ tales.