Using The Internet to Forecast

Weather forecasting and the internet.

The internet is making a difference every day in how we forecast the weather.  It used to be that everyone relied on the weatherman and his three to four minute forecast every morning and every night in order to get you prepared for what the weather would hold over the next twenty-four to forty-eight hours.  However, the internet has turned everyone into a weatherman of sorts. 

Most of the information used by professional and degreed meteorologists is available online.  This is the same information that National Weather Service, Storm Prediction Center and National Hurricane Center meteorologists use as well. That means, with a little education, nearly anyone can have a basic enough understanding of the weather in order to have a basic prediction of what will happen in the future.

A lot of basic weather information comes from computer models. These models are available on various weather websites and require a fast internet speed.  This is because they are graphics heavy and anyone with a dialup connection will be waiting awhile to see any results.  These computer models basically take a snapshot of what the weather is doing across the country at four specific times each day.  Then based on formulas and algorithms each model has been programmed with, they try and determine what the current weather pattern will look like in six hours, twelve hours, eighteen hours and twenty four hours from that initial picture.  Some models go out as far as fourteen days, but they are less and less reliable the further out in time you go. 

Also available online are satellite and radar images.  These are all real time and show exactly what is happening across the country at an particular moment. These images also require a fast internet connection because of the amount of data which is being sent to your computer. 

There are also plenty of other sites which show such things as upper level atmospheric conditions, the threat of severe weather and temperatures.  All of these items along with current satellite and radar imagery along with computer models can make it possible for anyone to get an idea of future weather condition. 

In addition, there are plenty of sites which have discussions on them to make it easier for those without a meteorology degree to understand what is happening. This may mean that someone is writing about what they believe may happen with a developing hurricane or the threat of severe weather in a certain part of the country over the next few days. 

The internet has also made it possible for so-called junior meteorologists to discuss what is happening with the weather in online forums and blogs. There is no shortage of these online and some of them can get very heated when it comes to debating such things as where a hurricane may eventually make landfall and how strong it will be when it gets there. 

There are many weather nuts out there and the use of broadband internet has made it possible for them to follow conditions closer than they have ever been able to before. 

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One Response to “Using The Internet to Forecast”
  1. James Stuckey Says...

    On May 21, 2012 at 6:46 am

    All of these items along with current satellite and radar imagery along with computer models can make it possible for anyone to get an idea of future weather condition.


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