Section 2: Weather Forecasts

A meteorologist is a scientist who studies the causes of weather and tries to predict it.  They use maps, charts, and computers to analyze data to prepare weather forecasts.  A weather map is a quick snapshot of conditions at a particular time over a large area.  Data from weather stations all over the country are collected and analyzed to create a weather map. This map uses standard symbols to show information such as temperature, fronts, precipitation, and changes in air pressure.  A surface report is a description of a set of weather measurements on Earth’s surface, whereas an upper-air report describes the wind, temperature, and humidity conditions above Earth’s surface.

Meteorologists use Doppler radar to help predict weather.  Doppler radar is a specialized type of radar that can detect precipitation as well as the movement of small particles, which can be used to approximate wind speed.  This ability to estimate wind speed can be useful during severe weather.  Station models are diagrams that display data from many different weather measurements for a particular location.  On weather maps you also see isobars and isotherms.  Isobars are lines joining places on a map that have the same air pressure.  Isotherms are lines joining places that have the same temperature.




  1. What is a scientist who studies weather called?
  2. What is Doppler Radar?
  3. Compare isotherms to isobars.

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