by Matt Nicholas, E-M Science Instructor
For the last several weeks in meteorology class, we have been observing and analyzing weather maps. The students were responsible for recording various data points including: Temperature, Pressure, Wind, Clouds, and weather maps with fronts over a two-week period. They then were tasked with identifying patterns and predicting future weather. This semester we encounter varied degrees of success. Several students correctly predicted the high and low temps within a few degrees and one student had a classic weather map prediction that was nearly perfect in comparison to the actual map for that day. The students were able to see that weather prediction is not a science of precise prediction, but using probability to predict the most likely outcomes. We were able to make average to good prediction with just our minds, paper, and pencils. Imagine what can be done with the data gathered by high tech satellites in orbit and processes by supercomputers on the ground. We all give the weatherman a hard time when he is wrong, but we have to remember the atmosphere is a turbulent place that can change at the drop of a hat.
As we move forward in our study of weather and climate, we will be looking deeper into what causes fronts to form and what effects will those fronts produce. Once we understand the “anatomy” of a front, we can learn what to look for when attempting to predict severe weather. We will study the forces behind Tornadoes and thunderstorms and then move into our study of climate. So, if the weather outside is frightful, just look to one of your E-M meteorology students for the scoop. (Yes, that was a snow joke!)
Front – Evan Harre and Jos Cremers
Back – Trystan Brandt, Evan True, and Max Zeleny