What is Numerical Weather Prediction?
Numerical weather prediction is a science based on reducing the atmosphere to a series of mathematical equations to project the atmosphere forward into the future. The results are weather forecasts. We know what the current state of the atmosphere is more or less, from piecing together a series of surface and upper air observations that may come from ground-based weather stations, balloons, aircraft, and satellites. Through the equations we know that certain physical laws must be obeyed, accounting for movement of air i.e., winds, or how the air heats or cools, or how clouds form, and whether rain occurs. This is a weather prediction, a look into the future if you will, of how conditions will be in your area at some number of hours or days into the future. We do this by breaking up the globe into a series of sub areas represented by “grid points”. The model then makes a forecast for each of these points. If the points are very far away from each other the model is said to have coarse r