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Ask the Met: How is Weather Made?

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ASK THE METEOROLOGIST

“How is weather made? How do you guys know what the weather will be like?”

Lila Head, Bellview Elementary

Our weather is strictly a result of the sun. Without the sun, we would not have weather and the different physical processes that bring precipitation to the Earth. The sun is what allows us to live on earth and what drives the weather we see from one day to the next.

The water cycle describes the different physical processes that water goes through on our planet. As it moves from bodies of water to the atmosphere and back down to the surface …water changes phases — from liquid to gas (evaporation) & from gas to liquid (condensation). If there is enough moisture in the air, these liquid cloud droplets fall to the ground as precipitation.

The water cycle is the reason why we have weather, and without the sun this cycle would not exist. Our forecasts are made from computer models. These computer models show a forecast, based on all the initial conditions in our atmosphere. What I mean by this is the current conditions. Wind speed, wind direction, moisture content, temperatures …all of these parameters are plugged into equations that then spit out a forecast in the form of graphs that we can view. Based on the computer model forecasts (or graphs), I then compile my own forecast!

Meteorologist Alyssa Caroprese