Why is it important to record daily weather?
Weather forecasting has been an important part of traditions in all civilizations for thousands of years. Farmers wanted to know the weather conditions for their crops, merchants needed favourable weather to begin their sea-voyages and even the common man wanted to know how the weather would be in the future. Since there were no modern tools to predict the weather, everyone looked for the signs in nature. Most of the times, the ancient people banked on old mythological proverbs and religious faiths.
When did modern weather forecasting begin?
Few hundred years ago, a naval officer named Robert FitzRoy came up with the idea of predicting the weather. He was deeply troubled by the massive loss of life at sea because of the extreme and unpredictable weather. He decided to set up an office in London where he used some basic equipment such as the barometer, nautical charts, and recorded patterns to predict the weather. As the telegraph network expanded in 1830s, FitzRoy could gather weather data from different coasts at his London office. If he thought a storm was around the corner, he immediately released a warning telegraph to the concerned port where a drum was raised to alarm the sailors. Though he had to face a lot of ridicule and mockery from the society, he continued working on weather predictions. Finally, in 1861, his forecasts started getting printed daily in ‘The Times’ newspaper of London. The first ever daily weather forecasts were published in The Times on August 1, 1861.
How do meteorologists forecast the weather?
Meteorology is the study of weather and the atmosphere. A meteorologist is a person who studies weather patterns and predicts how the weather would be in the future. All of you would have seen a meteorologist, or weather person, talking about weather on the news channels. Meteorologists gather information about the weather from satellites, balloons, and other instruments. They use powerful computers to analyse the collected data, and then, draw weather maps to predict the weather.
What are the different gadgets to predict weather?
- A Thermometer measures the air temperature. Thermometers are plain glass tubes containing liquids such as alcohol or mercury filled inside them. When air around the tube heats up the liquid, the liquid expands and rises up the tube. The readings on the thermometer then shows what the actual temperature is.
- A Barometer is a scientific device used by meteorologists to measure air pressure. When the barometer readings shoot up, it indicates sunny and dry weather, and when barometer readings fall down, it indicates rain and stormy weather.
- A Sling Psychrometer measures relative humidity.
- A Rain Gauge measures the amount of rain fallen over a time-period.
- A Wind Vane is an instrument that tells the direction of the wind.
- An Anemometer measures wind speed.
- Weather Maps show atmospheric conditions over a large portion of the Earth’s surface.
- A Hygrometer is a scientific instrument to measure the humidity in the air.
- A Weather Balloon measures weather conditions high up in the atmosphere.
- Weather Satellites are used to photograph and track large-scale air movements taking place over the Earth’s surface from the space.
Why is weather forecasting important?
There are several reasons why weather forecasts are important. Weather forecasting is a Science, that impacts the lives of many people. It forewarns the people about the future weather conditions so that people can plan their activities accordingly. It warns people about the impending severe weather conditions and other weather hazards such as thunder storms, hurricanes, and heavy rainfalls. Thus far, accurate weather predictions have been able to save the lives of many.
Are weather forecasts always correct?
Well, there has been a significant development in the technology of weather forecasting over the last 20 years. The weather forecast stations of today are much better equipped to provide advanced warnings of severe weather and save lives of many, but they are not always accurate. There is a lot of scope for improvement. Accurate weather forecasting requires powerful computers and lots of observational data collected from land, sea and air. A single weather station does not have the equipment to collect so much information and any major weather forecast is made only after a careful study of data received from thousands of stations across the globe. The other thing is that it is hard to predict the weather, as weather patterns are always changing.
8 Interesting facts about weather forecasting
- The first ever daily weather forecast was published in ‘The Times’ on August 1, 1861.
- If you love Math and Science, you too, can be a perfect meteorologist!
- There are some very interesting old proverbs that you can use to predict weather.
- Red Sky at Night, Sailor’s Delight. Red Sky in the Morning, Sailor’s Warning. This saying was used to warn the sailors about the weather conditions at the sea. If the sky was red at night, a fair weather could be expected and if the sky was red in the morning, it was a sign of a storm.
- Clear Moon, Frost Soon. The idea behind this saying was that a clear moon in the night sky meant frost in the morning.
- Cows Lying Down, Weather on the Way. The ancient farmers believed that when cows lied down on the ground, it was a sign of stormy weather and rain.
- Count the Cricket Chirps, Tell the Temperature. This proverb meant that any increase in the number of crickets in the area was a sign of increasing temperature.
- Ring around the Moon, Rain Real Soon- This meant that if you spot a ring around the moon, it would rain soon.