Author Topic: Learning to forecast.  (Read 3464 times)

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Offline siguiriya

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Learning to forecast.
« on: August 11, 2013, 04:04:10 AM »
Late last year a friend gave me a weather station as birthday present, and since then I've been trying to learn about the weather.  To that end  I have been reading a "beginner" book on the weather, checking out the various internet resources, and working through one of the free online courses.

My goal is eventually to be able to do my own amateur short-range forecasts.  Frankly, I don't know if that's even a realistic goal.  Currently I can make observations and understand most of the symbols on weather maps.  But I don't know what it all means.  I can't say "this is why we had rain today," or "this is why it won't be as cold tomorrow."  In order to learn more I recently ordered the Weather Map Handbook by Tim Vasquez, but it hasn't arrived yet.

Anyway, I was wondering if anyone has some advice on how to learn about forecasting.  I would appreciate any book recommendations, pointers to good web sites that might not be well-known, or any other worthwhile resources.


Offline SlowModem

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Re: Learning to forecast.
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2013, 05:36:36 AM »
Welcome and enjoy your stay here!  :)

I use something similar to this for my weather analysis:   #-o   :roll:

Greg Whitehead
Ten Mile, TN USA

Offline broadstairs

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Re: Learning to forecast.
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2013, 05:41:15 AM »
It might be worth taking a look at WXSim which forecasts weather for you on your local PC. It is a complicated piece of software but once you have it running you can vary all sorts of variables to do manual forecasts and see how different things affect the outcome. I have used it for a number of years for my location.

Ecowitt GW1003 with ultrasonic wind gauge, lightning sensor and PM2.5 sensor with Personal Weather Tablet as a console.

Offline wxtech

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Re: Learning to forecast.
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2013, 06:23:54 AM »
the National Weather Service Online Weather School
You should also become a CoCoRaHS rain observer.  Get the required rain gauge.  Learn by doing.  CoCoRaHS also has 'webinars', online seminars on various weather topics.  You must register for the webinar.
To become a weather forecaster, be a weather observer first.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2013, 08:38:57 AM by wxtech »
Al Washington, Lexington, Ga.,  NWS Coop station=LXTG1, Fischer Porter, SRG, MMTS. 
CoCoRaHS=GA-OG-1. CWOP=CW2074.  Davis VP2+ WLIP 5.9.2, VP(original) serial, VWS v15.00 p02. ImageSalsa, Win7 & Win8 all-in-one.

Offline richard583

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Re: Learning to forecast.
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2013, 05:12:52 PM »

First, .. Don't neglect gravity.

Then, toward the idea of approaching forecasting, even the broader science of weather, from a good strong point of view more academic, I'd check the book "Guide to Earth and Space" by "Isaac Asimov". (Basically, jump-street "Physics", with some basic thoughts elucidated where considering some basic ideas, principals, beginning with Earth, and then extending more outward.)

And with this, more in particularly, his Chapter 6 of this book, "What Makes the Wind Blow. ?"

If you "google" the book, and check it at one of the main book dealers, you can generally view quite a few of the chapters of this book, online.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2013, 05:15:40 PM by richard583 »

Offline Farmtalk

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Re: Learning to forecast.
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2013, 05:28:53 PM »
Al is definitely right on Jetstream; it's a superb program. I go to college right now, and currently own Tim's book that you mentioned "The Weather Map Handbook" (Green back). It is a GREAT book for examining weather maps and such.

I would also check out Jeff Haby at The Weather Prediction for all the "how's" and "why's" of weather. Just google his name, and the site will be the first result listed  8-)
Joe Fitzwater
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Offline chief-david

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Re: Learning to forecast.
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2013, 05:33:22 PM »
This is a class that teachers are allowed to take. I did.  Great info

You can use it too.

During the fall and spring, there are more pieces of info that teachers in the class must do.

You can't phase me-I teach Middle School.
It's not you-It's WU.

Offline siguiriya

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Re: Learning to forecast.
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2013, 12:05:27 AM »
Thank you all very much for your suggestions on learning about forecasting.  I really appreciate them and will look into all of them.   And yes, I'm also going through the Jetstream materials. 

Best  wishes,


Offline tedroche

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Re: Learning to forecast.
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2021, 08:30:34 PM »
the National Weather Service Online Weather School
Anyone following this (old) thread, Jetstream has moved, as of 2021, to:
Ecowitt GW1100, HP3501 WH32B WN32BS WH31 WH41 WH40B WS68BN
WeeWx Seasons on Raspian Buster Web site
CoCoRaHS: NH-MR-68 PWSWeather