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How Is math used in Meteorology? By: Jane Doe What exactly is meteorology? METEOROLOGY:The science that deals with the phenomena of the atmosphere, especially weather and weather conditions Where Does the math Come in play when studying meteorology? It’s All About Equations…

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what exactly is meteorology
What exactly is meteorology?
  • METEOROLOGY:The science that deals with the phenomena of the atmosphere, especially weather and weather conditions
it s all about equations
It’s All About Equations…
  • To predict the weather, meteorologists have sets of equations based on the land’s geography and starting weather conditions. With this information they can calculate future forecast by entering it into a computer to be processed.
  • The longer the time predicted, the less accurate your prediction will be.
math helps us organize challenge what math skills are used in meteorology
Math helps us Organize*CHALLENGE*:What math skills are used in meteorology?
  • Mathematical equations allows us to combine, average, and solve information.
  • Using equations, geometry, estimating, charts, graphs, and scales we can find answers to weather concerns. Weather and math go hand in hand….
numerical modeling
Numerical Modeling
  • Numerical Modeling: The process of obtaining an objective forecast of the future state of the atmosphere by solving a set of equations that describe the evolution of variables.
  • For example:


*Wind Speed



All of which describe the atmosphere.

still don t get numerical modeling
Its OK! Numerical modeling is done through a computer. The equations of numerical modeling are extremely difficult.

All YOU need to know

is …..

Numerical modeling starts with analyzing the current state of the atmosphere.

Conditions are found under the numerical models of the atmosphere which are all based in the same set of governing equations.

Still Don’t get numerical Modeling?
classifying with geometry
Classifying with geometry
  • Depending on how high a cloud is, classifies it as a certain kind of cloud.
  • Altitude:The height of a thing above a reference level, especially above sea level or above the earth's surface.
  • Mathematics. The perpendicular distance from the base of a geometric figure to the opposite vertex, parallel side, or parallel surface.
  • Low clouds: Stratus (dull gray,usually overcast, associated with steady precipitation). Some other species of low clouds include nimbostratus, cumulus, stratocumulus, mamatocumulus.
  • Middle clouds: Begin with the prefix alto. Examples include altocumulus, altostratus.
  • High clouds: Cirrus, cirrocumulus, cirrostratus. Usually appear "feathery".
  • One of the most important techniques for making a forecast is to use weather maps to estimate
  • You may estimate the speed of movement of air masses, fronts, and high and low pressure systems
  • Meteorologists have to adjust the forecast for differences in


* possible acceleration/deceleration

* intensification/deintensification of storm systems,

*and local effects (such as topography, bodies of water, and the urban heat island effect )

  • All of these things are measured and located on…………..
charts and graphs
Maps are used to locate a place in which the meteorologist is going to forecast the weather for. They also show Highs and Lows, pressures, Intensities, and Humidity.

Graphing is used here.

Some maps used in meteorology would include:

*Geographical Map

*Temperature map

*Pressure map

*Humidity map

*Precipitation map

*Forecast High and Low temperature maps

Charts and Graphs
  • Analyzing past and current weather is a huge part in Making a hypothesis for the next weather forecast.
  • Meteorologists must use past information and the weather conditions it took place in, to figure it out.
  • An easy way to organize that information is with Scales.
what kinds of scales are there
What kinds of scales are there?
  • There are many kinds of scales to organize weather conditions. Here are a few….
  • Synoptic scale:Deals with Air masses, fronts, and pressure systems
  • Mesoscale: Deals with effects of topography, bodies of water, the urban heat island, etc.
reading temperatures and pressures
Being able to read the temperatures and pressures is key to organizing weather material.

You may have to measure, temperature, water, and air on many types of scales.

Chance of Precipitation











Wind Speed

Reading temperatures and Pressures
  • Thermometer:An instrument for measuring temperature, especially one having a graduated glass tube with a bulb containing a liquid, typically mercury or colored alcohol, that expands and rises in the tube as the temperature increases.
  • Hydrometer: An instrument, (various ways to construct) used for measuring the velocity or discharge of water, as in rivers, from reservoirs,from clouds to earth, etc., and called by various specific names.
Hydrometry is measuring water. It’s the science that deals with how much water air can hold at a given temperature and pressure.

It is the probability of clouds, fog, and rain.

NO absolute Humidity, just relative.

concluding math and meteorology
Concluding math and meteorology…
  • So that’s the basics!
  • To refresh your memory…
  • In meteorology
  • It starts with analyzing the current conditions…
  • Then organizing the information with mathematical equations…
  • Its then put into a computer and processed…
  • These mathematical equations are solved and put into physical processes…..
  • OK. A little confusing but you get the drift… Hope you learned something…I did! If You have any questions ask me!
  • The Weather Companion, Gary Lockhart, Copyright 1988