Expect rain. Those two simple words can ruin a picnic or bring relief to drought-stricken crops.
In reality, weather forecasting has advanced by leaps and bounds in the last few decades. And meteorologists, in their pursuit of a more accurate forecast, continue to push what’s possible to its theoretical limit.
First, we must understand where the weather comes from before we can forecast it. To do so, we must look up at the sky.
The Earth is surrounded by an atmosphere composed primarily of nitrogen, oxygen, and water vapor. This air behaves as a fluid, similar to liquid water. When air moves from one location to another, it carries its properties with it, changing the temperature, humidity, and other factors.
Weather is simply the result of our atmosphere transferring heat from one location to another. Cooler air is dense and can’t hold much moisture; warmer air is less dense and can hold more water.
Principles of Forecasting
With so many variables to consider, forecasting the weather may often seem impossible. But that is not the case. However, all of this is largely dependent on reliable observations. Scientific weather observations began during the Renaissance when barometers and thermometers were invented.
Unfortunately, early forecasts were limited and relied on persistence or the assumption that previous weather reports would help predict future behavior. Persistence is an OK way to predict the weather when conditions are constant — when a storm trundles along without breaking up or the local climate changes a little day today
How do you forecast the weather?
Weather forecasting begins with continuous observation of the state of the atmosphere, ocean, and land surface. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) provides the framework for an ever-evolving global suite of observing systems, such as satellites, radars, and surface weather observations, that help monitor these conditions.
A weather forecast consists of three steps: observation and analysis, extrapolation to calculate the future state of the atmosphere, and prediction of specific variables.
One method of qualitative extrapolation is to assume that weather features will continue to move in the same direction they have been. The goal of a weather forecast is to provide the most accurate prediction of what the weather will be like in the near future.
They are essential in almost every aspect of daily life, including aviation, boating, other modes of transportation, farming, tourism, sports, and so on.
Weather Forecasting for Aviation
When you go outside and look up to the sky, you might see clear sunny skies. You may notice rain clouds forming. You might also see an airplane flying through the sky.
This plane’s pilot could have just taken off, been landing, or been in the middle of a flight. But, no matter where he is on his way to his destination, he has one question he must ask before boarding his plane: what is the weather forecast for today?
We all look to weather forecasts to help us plan our days: knowing what to wear or whether or not to bring an umbrella can make or break our day.
Weather forecasting is critical to the safety and security of pilots and passengers, as well as the aviation industry’s economic viability.
Tools Meteorologists Rely On To Forecast The Weather
Observational weather data collected by Doppler radar, radiosondes, weather satellites, buoys, and other instruments are fed into computerized NWS numerical forecast models.
The models use equations, along with new and past weather data, to provide forecast guidance to our meteorologists.
Why are weather forecasts occasionally incorrect?
Because the atmosphere is vast and complex, it is impossible to accurately monitor every aspect of it, so there will always be gaps in those observations. For example, the smallest developments in the ocean can have a significant impact on the position and strength of a weather system when it reaches land.
Also, something may be overlooked or simply not observed thoroughly enough. A forecast for the next seven days is likely to change before that day arrives.
Forecasts for the future are becoming more accurate as our understanding of the atmosphere improves, along with advances in computer technology.
Can Weather Forecasting be Accurate?
Many apps provide 24-hour weather forecasts with an accuracy of up to 97%. If you want to know how the weather is going to be in the next 5 days, a weather forecast can give 90% of what you expect.
AN Aviation offers our valued customers precise weather forecasts and weather data specifically for optimizing long-term flight operations.
We use the most advanced aviation weather forecast such as NOTAM and tracking network available with a twenty-four hours alert system which enables our flight supporters to stay alert of all possible weather conditions that can affect the trip.
And we also provide our customers with accurate and timely information about operationally significant weather around the world, weather service, and temperature in major cities across the world if needed through our aviation weather center.