Meteorology is the study of the atmosphere with a focus on weather. This science can be very important, especially when making predictions regarding dangerous weather, such as tornadoes or hurricanes. Those that study meteorology must have to proper equipment in order to make accurate calculations and predictions. These are the main tools used to study meteorology.
Weather satellites are used to gather an array of information. There are two types of weather satellite. These are Polar Orbiting, which orbit the Earth, and Geo-Stationary, which are kept in a fixed position. These satellites have cameras, heat sensors, and light sensors. The satellites transmit both pictures and other data to scientists. This data can be used to track and identify things like storms and temperatures.
Radar is another common tool used by meteorologists. Radio waves are sent out and may encounter the rain, hail, and snow inside a cloud. These waves will then “bounce” off the precipitation, and may be picked up by a radar receiver.
Radio-sonde measures things like temperature, humidity, and pressure. This device is used to detect changes in different parts of the Earth’s atmosphere. Weather balloons are used to carry radio-sonde. This also allows wind speed and direction to be measured by the movement of the instrument and balloon.
Computers are also vital to meteorology. They can take complex data, such as that which is transmitted by radar and satellite, and use it to make calculations. The ability of a computer to use complex math and formulas to interpret a large amount of data allows measurements and predictions to be processed efficiently.
There are also a few smaller tools that are used on the ground. Many of these items are used to take measurements of a certain aspect of the weather. Barometers are used to measure the atmospheric pressure, while thermometers are used to measure the temperature. Hygrometers are used to measure temperature and humidity.
A rain gauge can be used to measure the amount of precipitation an area receives, whether it is rain, snow, or hail. There are also snow gauges that are specifically meant for solid precipitation. Both of these devices funnel the precipitation into a container where it may be weighed.
Anemometers are used to measure wind speed. These devices often use cups which are blown by the wind and cause the central shaft to spin. The speed at which the device spins allows the wind speed to be measured.
Sunshine can be recorded and measured using a Cambell Stokes Recorder. A specially made glass ball concentrates the light onto a small card, which is burned. The size of the resulting mark on the card can be used to determine the hours of sunshine the area received.
These are some of the most common tools used in meteorology. These tools measure the various aspects and conditions which create the weather one can observe. These devices used along with trained observation have allowed more accurate predictions to be made, as well as increased scientists understanding of the weather.