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Watching the weather

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This free course, Watching the weather, describes how meteorological observations are made looking upwards from the surface of the Earth, looking downwards from satellites in space and from aircraft and balloons within the atmosphere. This international network of observations is vital for scientists and forecasters and the results impact on everyones daily activities.

After studying this course, you should be able to:

  • demonstrate general knowledge and understanding of some of the basic facts, concepts, scientific principles and language relating to meteorology and weather forecasting, in particular the techniques used to gather meteorological data
  • receive and respond to information presented in a variety of ways, including text, tables, graphs, diagrams, computer-based multimedia and websites
  • begin to understand how to develop personal learning strategies.

By: The Open University

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Watching the weather

Introduction

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Measuring and recording the weather is essential for many reasons: to accumulate an accurate record of the past; to provide a picture of what is happening now and a warning of extreme events; and to give the right starting point for predicting the future, in other words a weather forecast. It is also essential to later check those predictions and to improve them. Formal observations have long been recorded at weather stations around the globe and aircraft and satellites are of ever-increasing importance in monitoring the atmosphere. These observations are collated and distributed globally by the World Meteorological Organisation. This course describes how some of these measurements are made and what they can tell scientists about the atmosphere. Meteorology is an observational science and measurements are vital for understanding the weather.

This OpenLearn course provides a sample of level 1 study in Environment & Development [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

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