What ingredients are needed for a modern weather forecast?
Our lives are greatly influenced by weather and the climate. We want to know whether it's going to rain today, be stormy tomorrow, or if the sun will be shining on the weekend. We wonder whether or not the atmosphere is really getting warmer permanently.
How can we predict the weather and the climate?
Looking ahead is possible with three 'ingredients'. We take physical laws, global measurements of pressure, temperature, wind and humidity, plus a really fast computer. Then we mix all the ingredients at a professional workplace for meteorologists. The result? A weather prognosis for a whole week, not only for Bavaria and Germany, but for the entire globe!
The atmosphere is always changing - precise measurements call for modern technology
We call the momentary situation weather, whereas the longer-term behavior goes by the name of climate. And because we don't like to be surprised by the weather, we investigate it very precisely and collect basic data needed to forecast it. Important information on the atmosphere is brought together from a worldwide network of the latest measurement technology, on the ground, in the air around us, and up in space. And it's not only weather stations, weather balloons, satellites, aircraft, and radar networks which are busy at work around the clock.
What's the difference between a present-day meteorologist and grandma's intuition?
At DLR_School_Lab Oberpfaffenhofen we discuss what role distances like the earth's circumference, the location of weather satellites, or the altitude of the layer of air responsible for the weather play in weather forecasts. At an actual workplace for meteorologists you can monitor the current weather yourselves and call up the latest forecasts for the coming week for lots of places around the world. In order to do this, you'll concentrate on high winds, cloud types, the nature of the precipitation (whether it's a drizzle, snow, a shower or a thunderstorm), and the temperature conditions over the whole Northern Hemisphere. That even beats grandma!
Further information: Polarimetric Doppler Radar (POLDIRAD)