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Archive for the 'Weather forecasting' Category

Join the Barometer team for a chat about our research, the questions we try to answer with observations and how computer models are used to improve our understanding of atmospheric processes. 

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The Barometer is back! Join Hugo, Richard, Simon and Emma for discussion on how weather impacts sport and find out, amongst other things, why it takes more than just good driving skills to win a Grand Prix and the surprising way some ski resorts generate snow. 

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Since today we are not launching weather balloons for the NAWDEX project, Hugo had some time to test other meteorological instruments installed at Capel Dewi. Today we are briefly introduce the SODAR (SOnic Detection and Ranging).

SODAR at Capel Dewi.

Hugo operating the SODAR at Capel Dewi.

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Sam I spoke to our colleagues at the Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of Manchester who have recently launched a publicly accessible weather and air quality forecasting tool called ManUniCast. It aims to supports the teaching in the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Science at the University of Manchester, whilst also educating the public about how weather and air-quality (including atmospheric composition and air pollution) forecasts are made.

Sam spoke to Professor Dave Schultz, Dr Doug Lowe and Dr Jonathan Fairman about the creation of ManUniCast and what to expect in the future.

You can access ManUniCast here. There is also a blog, which will include frequent updates about how the forecast is fairing, as well as accounts for Twitter and Facebook. The team are very keen to get feedback on ManUniCast, so feel free to get in touch.

Presented by Sam Illingworth
Edited by Will Morgan

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St. Swithun's day, if thou dost rain,

For forty days it will remain;

St. Swithun's day, if thou be fair,

For forty days 'twill rain na mair.

Ever heard of St. Swithun's day on the 15th July? Who was this St. Swithun and what has he got to do with a 40 day weather prediction?
In this episode,  Sam will discuss the St. Swithun's day weather folklore, so listen to find out whether this myth gets busted or not!

And for those of you like things modern, check out Sam's updated myth below:

St Swithun's day if thou dost rain,

For forty days, Atlantic weather systems may well remain;

St. Swithun's day, if thou be fair,

For forty days, the Azores High could dry the air.


Mythbuster: Samuel Illingworth
Chat & editing: Jennifer Muller

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redskyimage.jpgRed Sky at Night, Shepherd's Delight. Red Sky in the Morning, Shepherd's Warning.

Is this weather folklore true, or just another "myth" to be busted? And what could it mean? Listen to this mythbusting session to find out!As Sam points out in the episode, red skies get a mention in the Bible and also by Shakespeare! So could there be some truth to it? “Like a red morn that ever yet betokened, Wreck to the seaman, tempest to the field, Sorrow to the shepherds, woe unto the birds, Gusts and foul flaws to herdmen and to herds.” Venus and Adonis, Shakespeare. In the Bible, Jesus said, “When in evening, ye say, it will be fair weather: For the sky is red. And in the morning, it will be foul weather today; for the sky is red and lowering.” (Matthew XVI: 2-3,)Mythbuster: Sam Illingworth

Chat & production: Jennifer Muller

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Have you heard the of the weather folklore that cows lie down when it's going to rain? We're going to investigate what's behind this statement in our new mythbusting feature! This one is presented by a new member of the podcast team, Sam, who went as far as interviewing a cow called Ermintrude to find out the truth. Enjoy!!

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Storms are one of the most dangerous weather events, causing havoc and devastation across large areas but how do they form? Join the Barometer podcast team as we guide you through a tangled web of duelling air masses, rotating spheres and stings in the tail. We also have an interview with Dr Clive Saunders from the University of Manchester, as he tells us about hail, lightning and more. We discuss a "sting-jet" which is where the cloud front curls around like a tail, which we discussed during the podcast. You can see some examples of time series of frontal passages from the Whitworth Observatory in Manchester from the 29th November 2011 (which we discussed on the podcast) and the 3rd January 2012. Below are some videos that explain the "Coriolis force or effect" that we discuss in the episode. As you'll gather from the podcast, it isn't something that is particularly suited to an audio format!Featuring: Will Morgan, Hugo Ricketts, Niall Robinson, Nicky Young, Kimberley Leather & Gary LloydInterviewee: Dr Clive SaundersProduction: Gary Lloyd, Will Morgan & Nicky Young

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weatherbaloon.jpgThe is the second episode in our mini-series for Science Week, which is about how to make good measurements of weather. Meteorologists (that's weathermen to you and me) have to try and do this all the time, to start the forecasts and to check they have worked. We give you our top tips for making decent measurements including:

  • Temperature measurements have to measure the shade air temperature --- don’t accidentally heat the sensor up with your hands, breath, the sun, building heating or anything else hot that isn’t shady air.
  • Same goes for humidity measurement --- don’t breath on them or you’ll measure the humidity in your breath.
  • Wind sensors need to be in an open space, not behind a tree, a building, a budding meteorologist (that’s you btw) or anything that will change the wind.

GOLDEN RULE: make sure you are measuring what you are trying to measure, and not accidentally measuring the temperature of your finger or the moisture in your breath or something. Another thing to consider is how wiggly the thing you are measuring is. Forinstance wind data is wiggly because it gusts so its probably good to make a few measurements at a time and take the average.

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michael-fish.jpgIn this special mini-series of the Barometer Podcast for National Science Week we’ll have a look at what makes a weather forecast good (or bad). How exactly do forecasts work anyway? Forecasts take a load of information about the weather right now, do a load of computer calculations and then try and figure out what the weather will be like in the future. But...sometimes forecasts go bad.In the first mini-episode we talk about what can make or break a weather forecast. What if we wrongly measure the weather today and then use that to start the forecast? What if we misunderstand how the weather works and get some of the calculations wrong? What if something is important but so small that we don’t think about it? Bad forecasts, that’s what.

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