People want to know about the weather forecast to plan all sorts of activities. If you have planned an outdoor party, for example, you will be interested in what the weather forecast looks like. Professionals such as traders making bets on agricultural futures and farmers also are interested in weather forecasts. A meteorologist studies the atmosphere and makes weather forecasts. Meteorologists could also use this input for other purposes, such as to study trends relating to global warming.
Work of Meteorologists
Meteorologists use input from the atmosphere, such as air pressure and humidity, and apply the principles of physics and mathematics to make weather forecasts. They get their data input from satellites and radar techniques, as well as input from observers worldwide. They sometimes also release weather balloons into the air.
Getting Weather Observations
Worldwide, there are many meteorologists working in concert to get input for daily weather forecasts. This is because the systems that influence weather go through many countries. To make their weather observations, every day meteorologists record atmospheric data at weather stations and ships. Meteorologists then feed the data input from atmospheric observations into computer systems. These systems use modeling techniques to interpret the data.
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Making Local Forecasts
National Weather Service meteorologists send out forecasts, using input from worldwide sources, to local NWS offices. Meteorologists working for the private sector use this input and refine it to make their own forecasts for different localities. For example, a meteorologist who makes forecasts for a local television station will fine-tune the national data input to forecast the local weather.
Other Avenues for Meteorologists
There are other avenues for meteorologists besides forecasting the weather. Physical meteorologists work in research, for example, studying various weather-related phenomena, such as severe storms. There are also climatologists who study the past patterns of weather to provide input for matters such as building design and agriculture. Meteorologists could also apply their research to reducing air pollution or to come up with better mathematical models for weather forecasting uses. And meteorologists also find employment in the higher education sector as professors.