Weather Forecasting – Short-term Forecasts

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 11,789
    Chris Strong with the National Weather Service discusses short-term forecasting.

    Chris Strong: Hi, I am Chris Strong with the National Weather Service. I am talking to you today about how you can forecast the weather. Next thing we're going to discuss is short-term forecasting. How can I figure out what's going to be happening over the next few hours. You know lot of that gets down to our observations just looking at both locally and in terms of the big picture, if we track that over a period of hours again over a period of few days, we can see how individual storms are moving, whether it's thunderstorms in the summertime, or big tropical storms and hurricanes, or in the winter time if it's big winter storms, or even just rain showers that are moving through during the course of a spring or a fall day. If we look at where these storms are and we just track them over a period again of hours, or a period of days by using our radar and our satellites, and our surface observations. We can get a good idea of where these things are moving. Just by using simple extrapolation of the storm that was over, let's say Charlotte's Field, Virginia moving up the northeast at 20 miles an hour, if I am up in Washington, D.

    C. and it's moving directly towards me I can just do a simple time-step of how long it's going to take for that storm, shower, or snow area to move up into our area. If it's a hurricane, the Hurricane Center part of the National Weather Service (NOAA) tracks these storms and it sees how the storm is moving over time using satellite and radar. And then you can make a determination for the first few hours just by simple extrapolation of how that storm is moving and where it's going to be a few hours, or even a day or two from now. We start getting into the longer term as we're going to have to use some other methods. But for the next few hours we can just use our observations that are at our place. We can use our observations at locations around us; our radar and our satellite. See how things are moving, how things are revolving, and just estimate how these things are going to be affecting us over the next few hours.