*** 20th Anniversary: 2003 to 2023 ***

Forecasting the Future

by Nick

Just like a Sci-Fi Movie

Just like a Sci-Fi Movie

Although weather predictions are not always accurate and despite the fact there are days where we would all like to strangle the weather person that told us that the day ahead would be full of sunshine (and so we leave our umbrellas at home only to encounter an afternoon shower) we are better off today with weather satellites and weather predictions than we were years ago.

The weather satellite is definitely an important component in predicting the weather and recording weather patterns for future models because the weather satellite is able to record a variety of information and provide us with a unique perspective of the storm that we cannot obtain otherwise.

Satellite imagery is particularly important when it comes to deadly and disastrous storms like hurricanes and typhoons and the information recorded and sent to meteorologists definitely has resulted in saved lives, and that is definitely worth a little inconvenience when it comes to the local weather person getting the forecast of the day wrong.

How important is it?

I believe that we should be injecting fresh money into the system of weather forecasting on a regular basis so that we can continue to improve the technology, capabilities and accuracy of the weather satellites as well as radar technology, weather planes and all other areas of weather forecasting.

We cannot afford not to have the best technology because the better the forecasting technology, the better the chance that lives will be saved down the line. There should be year-round research and development on improving forecast technology and bringing new technology into the field.


I think it would be challenging to work as a meteorologist or as a engineer or technician responsible for the satellites. It
would be a terrific responsibility because there would be no room for mistakes or miscalculations when it comes to recording and reading satellite data, especially when it comes to real severe weather events. The satellite needs to be calibrated properly and designed perfectly so that the data is recorded in an accurate manner so that meteorologists can then make a factual and accurate determination.

I think that the same technology used when constructing weather satellites can also be used for military purposes, such as with spy satellites that are capable of recording high-definition details of the landscapes below. These satellites can even track movement along rail tracks or zoom in on facilities that may be involved in clandestine activities. I also believe that these satellites can be used to measure such things as global temperature, greenhouse gas levels and other measurements that can help us monitor the health of the planet.

Weather satellites will continue to play a critical role in recording storms and collecting data to be used in future predictions. The more we invest in the field of forecasting, the safer and better off the people of the world will be. As we continue to invest in the area of weather forecasting, it is very likely that we will also discover other uses for the powerful imaging technology and data collection abilities. Hopefully though, the technology will always be used to safeguard lives and not for purposes of starting a war or launching attacks that will kill people.

Barry's Response - Satellites have a variety of uses as you indicate, Nick. We hope that they will be all uses for the benefit of mankind (rather than criminal activity etc.), but acknowledge that anything's possible.

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