The science and the technology of foretelling the state of the atmosphere in the future in a particular place is known as weather forecasting. The Human race has been attempting to predict the weather from the beginning of civilization but only since at least the nineteenth century has this been done in a formal fashion. Such formal weather forecasts are made by collecting quantitative data about the present condition of the atmosphere and using scientific knowledge of the atmospheric process to determine the state of the atmosphere and how it will evolve.
Today, forecast models are being used to predict and determine future conditions, when once it used to be an all-human undertaking mostly based on barometric pressure, current weather conditions and sky conditions. But even today human participation is still necessary to select the most favorable forecast model to found the forecast upon, which includes pattern recognition skills, teleconnections, knowledge of model performance, and knowledge of model biases.
Due to the fact that the atmosphere is extremely chaotic in nature, the colossal computational power that is necessary to solve the equations that describe the atmosphere, mistakes that crop up while measuring the initial conditions and our as yet incomplete understanding of the atmospheric processes, forecasts become less accurate as the range of the forecast increases. To help us to reduce these errors and select the most likely forecast, ensembles and model consensus are used.
Weather forecasts are used for a wide variety of reasons. The main reason is to protect ourselves and our property from damage due to harsh weather conditions. If we can predict the weather correctly, we can at least try to avert any kind of damage not only to ourselves but also our property. Apart from such harsh weather conditions that need to be forecasted, the forecast of temperature and precipitation are also important for fields such as agriculture which in turn will help commodity markets. Temperature forecasts are used by utility companies to predict demand in the future.
But even on a day to day basis, people everywhere use weather forecasts to decide what they can and cannot wear on a particular day. Most outdoor activities are affected by weather conditions such as heavy rain, snow and wind chill. So weather forecasts are being used to plan activities around these conditions and to be able to live comfortably despite the bad weather.
There are many different ways that people use everyday to predict the weather like the local weather news forecast on the television, radio and also online. But one of the best ways to predict the weather, that many people are waking up to now, is the wide variety of weather forecasting instruments and gadgets that can really help us on a day to day basis. There are many different types available that can be used for different purposes and they are a great addition to any home.