The for human understanding on predicting weather has been ongoing since around 650 BC, by the Babylonians. At that time, the attempts were made by observing the clouds, along with other visual cues such as the alignment of stars and the migration of certain types of birds. However, it officially began as a science in the 19th century. By the 1860s, the first weather stations began appearing. Some of the milestones in weather forecasting include:
In 300 BC, Chinese astronomers began dividing the year into 24 festivals, with each festival connected to a different type of weather.
In 340 BC, Aristotle wrote Meteorologica covering topics such as rain, wind and hail (among many other things)
In 1835, weather forecasting took a huge step due to the telegraph, which allowed for the word to be spread faster.
In 1922, numerical weather predictions were made by using extensive calculations to forecast the weather thanks to Lewis Fry Richardson.
In 1925, the first radio weather forecasts went on air in the United States.
As people started making travel plans, to such places as Lundy Island (in the Bristol Channel) off the coast of North Devon, they needed to know what the weather forecast would be. Would it rain? Would there be plenty of sunshine? Additionally, they needed more than just short term forecasts; they needed longer forecasts. For example, they needed 7-day forecasts, 14-day forecasts. They also needed shorter weather forecasts for determining activities while on vacation in places such as Cornwall which is famous for its sandy beaches and spas. Therefore, they needed 6-hour forecasts and 3-hour forecasts. Clearly, the need for weather forecasts is important especially for UK tourists travelling to their favorite destinations. The most popular holiday destinations for UK residents are; Mallorca Spain, this place is magical. It is famous for panoramic views and its beaches. Cyprus, over 4000 Britons visit southern Cyprus every month. The place is famous for its historic sites and the sandy beaches. These are just a few of the famous holiday destinations for UK residents. Other destinations include Dubai, Caribbean Islands, Maldives Islands, South Africa and Mauritius.
One has to take several things into consideration in regards to forecasting the weather. One example is topography, which is the surface areas of the planet. Topography can influence the three main things weather forecasters need to take into account for prediction. The three most important things are:
The layout of the land can create changes in the wind, such as windbreaks and wind tunnels, which can cause strong winds. Additionally, fast winds can affect the temperature, known as the wind chill temperature. Topography has an effect on the heat. The higher the landscape is, the cooler the temperature will be. One can expect warmer temperatures on a flat island than on a mountain top. Finally, topology effects moisture. As air rises, it cools and the more it cools, the more likely there is to be a chance of moisture.
Another way weather forecasts are determined is by meteorological conditions which means studying the atmosphere. To do this, equipment is used to help determine certain conditions and interactions (such as between the atmosphere and the oceans). For example, a rain gauge, this helps to measure humidity and wind. Overall, meteorological conditions are determined by using instruments at weather stations.
The weather can be influenced by both microclimates and macroclimates. A microclimate is an atmospheric zone, whose climate is different than that of a surrounding area. A microclimate can change the temperature of a localized area based on influences such as tall buildings that are made of bricks. In this example, the buildings height and materials would make the area a little warmer than a zone that does not have the buildings. Another example would be if one were seeing Wicked the Musical in London, the temperature inside the building would be slightly warmer than outside of the building because of the many people and lights in the building.
Macroclimate is the opposite of microclimate. Macroclimate refers to the climate of a large geographic location such as a continent. Generally, these are referred to as geographic zones. For example, Antarctica is generally cold and frozen with minimal thawing. One can reasonably assume that the conditions there are going to be consistent and there is going to be snow. Another example would be tropical locations. The weather may vary from time to time, but in general, the conditions are going to remain the same.
The prediction of weather has come a long way since the start when humans used only their eyes and other types of cues such as the migration of certain types of birds to figure out what the weather may be. The modern age of computers greatly improved the weather forecasts of today. These days, forecasters use weather models to make predictions. A mathematical model of the oceans and atmosphere relationship during its current state is used as a prediction for future conditions. Although the first attempt to do this was in the 1920s, it was not until the 1950s that it became reliable enough to use due to computer simulations. The exciting stuff came along with the advent of satellites that relay information from space; it was because of these that weather forecasting became global.
The need for weather forecasts goes beyond vacation planning, however. The fact is, many lives can now be saved because of advance warnings of severe storms, hurricanes, extreme dry and hot temperatures. People can now prepare to evacuate, if necessary. Weather forecasts are important and can be determined by several means. The knowledge of the weather and its prediction has a long-rooted history and has come very far.