Doppler Radar, Satellites, and Computer Models: The Science of Weather Forecasting

Overview

How do scientists predict the weather What tools and instruments help them make forecasts How far in advance can they make good predictions Weather forecasting is a tricky science. Forecasters gather current weather data and study trends and historical patterns. They use their expertise to predict what kind of weather is likely coming next—with help from computers, satellites, and other machines. In this fact-packed book, discover what it really takes to forecast Earth's ...

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Overview

How do scientists predict the weather What tools and instruments help them make forecasts How far in advance can they make good predictions Weather forecasting is a tricky science. Forecasters gather current weather data and study trends and historical patterns. They use their expertise to predict what kind of weather is likely coming next—with help from computers, satellites, and other machines. In this fact-packed book, discover what it really takes to forecast Earth's weather.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - James Rutkowski
This is an excellent book for the young students of meteorology or for the casual reader who would like to understand the science of weather forecasting. The author uses three basic questions to guide the reader through the process of forecasting the weather. One: what are the current conditions? Two: how is the weather changing? Three: what are the weather patterns for that area? The first half of the book examines the collection of data through the National Weather Service, radar, weather balloons, and satellites. The data collected is than used to develop a weather map and the author details how the map is constructed, the use of isotherm lines, high and low pressure areas, and the different types of fronts that produce our weather. Accompanying the descriptions are examples of weather maps and the symbols used to represent the weather makers. The second half deals with predicting short and long-term weather indicators and examines long-term climate changes. Photos, diagrams, and maps aid in the explanation and scattered throughout the book are fascinating facts that aid in the understanding of the concepts introduced. There is also a section on the difficulty of predicting the weather and why some forecasts may not be accurate. Additional resources listed at the conclusion of the book are for those who want to explore further. This book is one of four in a series that explores the weather. Reviewer: James Rutkowski
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822575351
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 8/1/2010
  • Series: Weatherwise Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 750L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Fleisher has spent his working life as an educator and writer. His books for young people cover a variety of science, ecology and natural history subjects. He has also written several widely-used classroom activity books on thinking games, social activism, and creative writing.

Paul currently works as an adjunct professor in the school of education at Virginia Commonwealth University, as well as assistant to the director of the Richmond Peace Education Center. He also teaches classes in writing at the University of Richmond. Prior to taking early retirement in 2005, he taught gifted elementary and middle school students in the Richmond, Virginia Public Schools for almost 30 years. During that time, he helped develop numerous interdisciplinary instructional units on topics including Humor, Justice, Engineering and Design and The Art and Science of Music. Paul was in the vanguard of teaching educational technology in Richmond Public Schools, teaching computer programming and web design to his students. He has offered workshops on team-building, thinking games, teaching writing, and other topics at educational conferences for many years.

Paul remains an activist for peace and social justice. He currently serves on the boards of the Virginia Forum and the Virginia Museum of Natural History. He has also served terms on the Virginia Education Association's Fitz Turner Commission for Human and Civil Rights, and the Virginia Chapter of the ACLU. In 1988 Paul received the Virginia Education Association Award for Peace and International Relations and in 1999 he was awarded the Thomas Jefferson Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Natural Science Education.

It is Paul's great good fortune to be married to educator Debra Sims Fleisher, who has taught him much of what he knows about working in a classroom, as well as how to live as a more decent human being. In his spare time Paul is an avid gardener, cook, and reader.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Clear, concise, well written

    Many people watch the evening news weather reports each night to find out how the weather will be in their area for the upcoming week. Sometimes they have something they want to do outside, they have a vacation coming and want to know if the weather will be good, or if serious storms are coming they want to know all about them just in case they need to make preparations. Just how weather predictions are made, how meteorologists go about their task of formulating a forecast and the science of weather forecasting are just a few of the things you'll find in this book. The science of weather forecasting may sound quite simple, but in actuality it is quite a complicated science.

    Inclement weather can be very disruptive to our lives and can cause delays in transportation, floods, drought, and many other serious problems, but "weather forecasts can save lives" and "forecasters can protect livelihoods." In order to make a prediction we need to know the current weather conditions, worldwide weather conditions, and we "need to understand weather patterns. There are many bits of information we need to gather such as air pressure, humidity, and wind direction because the more information you have, the more accurate your forecast will be. The job of a meteorologist has become much more sophisticated and high-tech than it was just a few decades ago. The meteorologist uses "the most high-tech equipment to take local measurements and taps into weather information from around the world."

    Our National Weather Service operates 24/7 and collects information from "121 weather stations around the country." A full 187 countries "also gather weather information" and belong to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). In this book you'll get right down to the nitty gritty and learn how a forecast is made with everything from weather balloons to Doppler radar, a type of "radar that can measure the speed and direction of moving objects such as raindrops and snowflakes." Scientists send out alerts when inclement weather is approaching and you'll learn the difference between a watch, a warning, and an advisory. You'll learn about composite radar images, Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES), Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellites (POES), "super computers," you'll learn how to read a weather map, you'll learn weather lingo, how to make your own predictions, how and why forecasters can err in their predictions, you'll learn about climate change and much more. Sound interesting? It sure is!

    There is a wealth of information in this book that will really give the young student an understanding about how weather predictions are made, not only by the backyard weather forecaster, but by those who use the most sophisticated, high-tech equipment available. I found the information to be of high interest and feel it may spur many students on to begin taking an interest in meteorology and what is actually going on weather wise not only in their own communities, but the world around them. There are many full color photographs, map reproductions (including Doppler, computer drawn, NOAA, etc.), and numerous informative sidebars. In the back of the book is a section on "Forecasting Folklore," an index, a glossary, and additional recommended book and website resources to explore.

    Quill says: This is a very clear, concise, well written book.

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