Earth & Space Science
Students learn about the trends method of weather forecasting and practice forecasting weather.
After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:
People have been trying to forecast the weather for millennia, as it has a significant impact on our everyday lives. When we dress each day, we take into account what we expect the weather to be for that day. Broadcast weather warnings are used to protect property and life, and many industries directly rely on weather forecasts to manage their businesses. The weather, whether mild or severe, impacts each of us on a daily basis.
In the past, people based their predictions on existing observable conditions and changes in barometric pressure. In recent times, weather prediction has become more reliable due to experience, data collection techniques, and the forecasting models and methods now available.
Weather forecasting can be considered both a science and an art, as the experienced forecaster or meteorologist uses his or her knowledge, experience, and insight to interpret scientifically generated data and choose the best methods and models to use in predicting the weather. While weather prediction is much more accurate today than it was in the past, it is still an inexact endeavor. This is due to the constantly changing nature of the atmosphere, the sheer amount of data available upon which to base predictions, the peculiarities of different locales, biases in the various weather forecasting models, and the time period of the desired forecast.
While there are several widely recognized methods of weather prediction, the trends method uses the speed and direction of motion of fronts, high and low pressure centers, precipitation, and cloud conditions. Using this information, the meteorologist can predict where the weather pattern will be at some point in the near future. For instance, if a storm system is 500 miles west of your location and moving to the east at 250 miles per day, using the trends method you would predict the storm to arrive in your area in approximately two days.
|Approximate Time||20 Minutes|
|Pre-requisite Concepts||Students should understand the concepts of forecasting, precipitation, weather, and weather fronts.|
|Course||Earth & Space Science|
|Type of Tutorial||Concept Development|
|Key Vocabulary||clouds, forecast, front|