What different instruments do weather forecasters use to make their predictions?
Twice a day weather balloons are launched from locations all over the U.S. and around the world. As the balloon ascends it records and transmits back temperatures, humidity, pressure, as well as wind speed and direction at various layers of the atmosphere. This snapshot of what is currently happening in the atmosphere is fed into the computer models, which are complex systems of equations that mathematically model the behavior of the atmosphere. The models then extrapolate what will happen in the future. Some models forecast a few days into the future, some go out as far as fifteen days. Forecasters use the output from these computer models, satellite and radar images, as well as surface and upper-air observations. Sometimes the models are not just a little different, but can arrive at opposite forecasts. When this occurs, forecasters have to decide which one is correct or decide if a blend of the models is the best forecast. When forecasting for the short-term or when a storm is occur