The Accuracy of Weather Prediction Essay

The Accuracy of Weather Prediction Essay

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The purpose of this paper is to explain the advances being made in technology and algorithms in helping advance the accuracy of forecasting. It will contrast the forecasting methods of several decades ago with forecasting methods in use today. In discussing how errors can accumulate over time and providing simple mathematical formulas as examples, this paper intends to show how the repetition of minor errors can affect the accuracy of weather predictions.
Back in the days of Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, weather observations were recorded daily but not hourly or by the minute. Such repetition of data didn’t seem useful. After the telegraph was invented which enabled information about weather data to be transmitted across the country, they still reported only once a day. In contrast to today's virtual world of weather, making 24/7 use of climate data from satellites, buoys in the oceans, the ability to record worldwide temperatures, worldwide rainfall records, track wind speeds, pressure pulses of solar wind, carbon dioxide levels, tornadoes and hurricanes...etc (Harris, 2012).
An early pioneer of meteorology was Vilhelm Bjerknes, and his son Jacob, who described the lifecycle of the extratropical cyclone and shared his ideas for scientific weather forecasting. Bjerknes was disappointed over the unscientific methods of meteorology at the time, which, in contrast was making precise predictions in astronomy and meteorology as he felt, was at a standstill. His goal was to introduce scientific concepts to meteorology. According to Bjerknes, the two main ingredients in weather forecasting was knowledge of the atmosphere and accurate knowledge of the physical laws that govern it. Bjerknes identified: pressu...

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...Went Wrong? Retrieved February 19, 2012, from
NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory. (n.d.). NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory. Retrieved February 18, 2012, from
Vanorsow. (2010, July 17). The Teaching Company User Community: View topic - 23. Prediction and Predictability. The Teaching Company User Community: Index. Retrieved February 18, 2012, from
Weather Modeling and Prediction. (2011, May 16). NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research. Retrieved February 17, 2012, from
The Weather Research&Forecasting Model Website. (n.d.). The Weather Research&Forecasting Model Website. Retrieved February 18, 2012, from

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