General Awareness

April 04, 2017 @ 01:15 PM

April 04, 2017 @ 01:15 PM

K. J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai

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How is weather forecast made?

General Awareness topics on current affairs with analytically drawn conclusions are likely to benefit MBA Aspirants to achieve mission admission MBA! 
Today, you will read General Awareness Topic: How is weather forecast made?
Through weather forecasting, we are able to predict the state of atmosphere at a particular location. Weather forecasts are made by collecting quantitative data about the state of atmosphere at one place and applying scientific concepts pertaining to atmospheric processes to predict how the atmosphere will evolve at that place. 
Human beings have been predicting weather since the Stone Age. In the past, people relied on the movement and behaviors of birds and animals to predict the weather, and now, we use complex systems to analyze and predict the weather.
Weather warnings are important forecasts because they help protect both life and property. For example, if we knew in advance that there is a possibility of thunderstorms in the region, we will try our best to stay indoors. This way, we will be able to protect ourselves. 
Also, weather warnings help citizens of a country to plan events for a day or even a week. Agencies have been established in every country to forecast weather conditions. In India, the Meteorological Department, under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, is responsible for predicting the weather accurately. 
Weather forecast is carried out in four steps. The first step is observation. Here, standard weather instruments such as wind vane, thermometer, barometer, rain gauge and anemometer are used to observe atmospheric pressure, wind, temperature and humidity. 
In addition, coastal weather stations and weather ships observe the height and period of waves. Weather radars are also used to observe cloud coverage.
Apart from these tools, meteorological agencies in the world depend on meteorological satellites for pictures of the Earth’s cloud formations. 
Data collected by these tools are then fed into a computer, which analyses them and churns out a time integration of physical equations, which is known as numerical weather prediction.
The next step is the plotting of weather data using numerical weather prediction on weather maps. Observations made on land and sea are plotted on the surface and sea level charts, and these charts are prepared four times a day.
On the other hand, radiosonde and satellite wind observations are plotted on upper level charts, which are prepared twice a day.
Next, weather maps, and satellite and radar images are analyzed in depth. The data plotted on weather maps are analyzed isobarically.
Here, different places with the same atmospheric pressure are connected with a line, taking into consideration the direction of the wind.
Through this analysis, high and low pressure areas, cyclones, and inter-tropical convergence zones can be delineated. Also, rainfall and pressure change charts are analyzed to determine the movement of wind, distribution and intensity of rainfall and the behavior of atmospheric pressure. 
The next step is forecasting. Once the present data is analyzed, predications and extrapolations can be made.
Meteorologists compare the latest weather map with weather maps that were generated 24 to 72 hours earlier. Also, the latest weather satellite pictures are compared with earlier pictures taken 24 to 72 hours before.
By comparing the latest data with older data, meteorologists are able to extrapolate and make weather predictions.
These predictions, also known as forecasts, are then published in newspapers and broadcasted on the television. Weather forecasting is cumbersome, no doubt, but it is extremely useful. 
Weather forecasts help farmers, pilots, sailors and even those whose livelihoods do not depend directly on weather conditions.
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