How do meteorologists forecast weather?

February 13, 2008 11:33:58 AM PST
Believe it or not, we use tools that are available to anyone who has Internet access!

Erica's Answer:

The Internet has many websites open to the public that show our forecast computer models. Weather forecasters use these computer models, along with satellite and radar imagery, to make a forecast.

Meteorologists use computer models to predict the weather in advance. These models collect information about the current weather in thousands of locations across the country. The information from these weather observation sites is then plugged into complicated mathematical formulas that predict how the weather will change at each of these observation sites. We need the computer models to do this, because the mathematical equations are so complicated that it would take us years to come up with a forecast for just one day! The results of the mathematical equations are then plotted out on maps, and also plotted on numerical charts. Meteorologists then use these maps and charts to determine how the weather will change over the next several days.

- Erica