Watching the Weather

Course Level 1: Introductory

Estimated Study Time: 10-12 hours

This course describes how meteorological observations are made looking upwards from the surface of the Earth, looking downwards from satellites in space and from aircraft and balloons within the atmosphere. This international network of observations is vital for scientists and forecasters and the results impact on everyone’s daily activities.

Measuring and recording the weather is essential for many reasons: to accumulate an accurate record of the past; to provide a picture of what is happening now and a warning of extreme events; and to give the right starting point for predicting the future, in other words a weather forecast. It is also essential to later check those predictions and to improve them. Formal observations have long been recorded at weather stations around the globe and aircraft and satellites are of ever-increasing importance in monitoring the atmosphere. These observations are collated and distributed globally by the World Meteorological Organisation. This course describes how some of these measurements are made and what they can tell scientists about the atmosphere. Meteorology is an observational science and measurements are vital for understanding the weather.

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Course Content

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