Cloud patterns and wind velocity. When you saw those words, you knew immediately that they dealt with the weather, right? Did you form some sort of image in your mind and did the words bring just a touch of interest or excitement? If your answer was 'yes,' you may have what it takes to become an amateur meteorologist.
Have you always had an interest in the weather? Would you like to learn how to forecast the weather and use both simple and sophisticated instruments to do it? No problem. Just follow along here and we'll have you predicting local storms in no time at all.
By being an amateur, you are just that. Not a professional meteorologist with the kind of training that allows you to work for the National Weather Service (NWS) or the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) but someone who knows the terminology and the tools needed to determine weather pattern movement and characteristics. You will become part of a network of people all over the world who match and report on weather conditions in their communities in order to make sure that the rest of the world knows what the global weather is doing at any location and at any particular time.
In order to get started with your new hobby, you'll need both some knowledge and some tools. The knowledge will come from the Internet and the tools will be simple weather instruments that you can buy reasonably inexpensively and install yourself in your own back yard.
So that you can learn about weather and all of its terminology and nomenclature, you should run a search for the following terms, 'weather' or 'weather forecasting.' If you print off all the relevant information that you find for those terms, you will have more information than most books will provide. Read the information and learn everything you can about weather, weather tools and instruments, weather forecasting and weather symbols. Learn how to read a weather map. It's not that difficult. If there is a NWS bureau nearby, you should call them and ask for a tour. Look at all the complicated and sophisticated equipment they use to provide the daily weather information.
Inside of a month of two, you should have a good weather education. Now, it's time to put that information and knowledge to practice. It's time for you to buy some weather instruments and gadgets. What you'll need are the simplest forms of weather instruments and you can buy them either one at a time or in a neat little package called a home weather station
The instruments that you'll need are a weather thermometer, a barometer, a hygrometer, a wind vane, an anemometer, a good compass (usually comes with the anemometer), an atomic clock and a rain gauge. That's it! Those simple instruments and Weather maps are important to track your findings and compare to the weather in regions close to you.
It may take a while for you to buy each of these instrument components but you can get them all in the home weather station package. It is a wireless multi-component package with all of these instruments in it. You simply have to install the instruments in your yard, put in some batteries and install the software on your computer or place the enclosed digital read-out screen on a cabinet or desk somewhere in your house. Every minute of the day, you will receive readings from each of the instruments and you'll never have to go outside unless you just want to. You'll learn what each of these instruments does and how you can use them to forecast the weather in your online weather lessons.
Then the fun begins! You will find yourself almost obsessed with the weather for a while. You'll be challenging yourself to beat the TV weather personalities at their own game. You'll take great pride in predicting storms before they're announced. All this will be a blast. It's hard to explain the exhilaration that you'll feel being the neighborhood weather expert. Your neighbors will come to you with weather questions and ask for local forecasts. You'll get the attention once they know your a weather nut. Not quite rock star status but you'll get plenty of attention.
You should look at some of the following wireless weather stations if you're going to get into this. They are
excellent, advanced tech products and the cost is very reasonable.
The La Crosse WA-1340 Weather Direct TALKING Wireless Weather Station for about $90. This unit gives you easy access to the same quality weather as meteorologists 24 hours-a-day without turning on a TV or a computer! It works without Wi-Fi, there is NO software to install, and the forecasts are totally FREE. NO subscription required.
Another great LaCrosse product is the La Crosse Technology WS-8035U-IT-SAL Wireless Weather Station with Remote Temperature and Humidity Gauge. The weather station's main console displays a wide range of information in an easy-to-read format on a large LCD. The unit monitors indoor/outdoor temperature and humidity, as well as barometric pressure, and features a pressure history chart to give you some idea of where the weather is heading.
Oregon Scientific also makes some high tech instruments that you should consider, such as the Oregon Scientific WMR968 Cable Free Complete Weather Station. This baby goes for around $205. Completely wireless and simple to install, this home weather station tracks and stores data about more than 20 weather conditions and displays them on a touch-screen LCD monitor that measures only 8 inches wide by 5-1/2 inches high. There are three outdoor sensors, each powered by a solar cell: an anemometer that attaches to a building, fence, or roof to measure wind speed and direction; a thermo-hygrometer to measure temperature and humidity; and a self-emptying rain gauge.
Whichever choice you make is a good one. Like all other enthusiasts, you'll probably find yourself trading up for tools and equipment until you have exactly what you want. Let's just hope that you don't trade up to a Doppler radar. I'm not sure your neighbors would appreciate that.
Now go out and get started. Learn your basics and begin a fun and enjoyable hobby that will give you lots of enjoyment and recognition.
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