In today’s civilized world, the weather condition of a place is of key interest to most people. Many activities and also industries rely on weather forecasts to function or execute effectively. Some activities that require a foreknowledge of the weather conditions of a particular place at a particular time include Construction, Aviation, Amusement parks, Transportation etc.
Businesses that do not get prior information about changes in weather conditions to make proper preparations for it are most affected by the outcome of weather when it suddenly occurs. This is why it is pertinent to discuss weather forecasting and the limiting conditions that may affect accurate weather forecasting.
WHAT IS WEATHER FORECASTING
To explain this, let’s go back to our elementary school books. We were taught as children that Weather is the atmospheric condition of a place at any given time. In turn, knowing what the atmospheric condition of a place will be at a given time is Weather Forecasting. That’s simple.
To define the term professionally, Weather Forecasting refers to the application of science and technology in the accurate prediction of the weather for a given location and time using atmospheric data readings.
We had earlier in this thread mentioned some businesses and activities that depend on weather forecasting. Before we delve into the factors that limit accurate weather forecasting, let’s discuss concisely how the weather may affect industries and businesses.
BUSINESSES DEPENDENT ON WEATHER
Construction be it building construction, road construction etc. works better with a fair-weather condition. Under adverse weather conditions like storms, construction companies would cease operations.
Due to the nature of the job, construction has to do with moving and lifting heavy objects and equipment so to ensure the safety of their operations which includes workers and equipment needed for work on sites, they are on the lookout for good weather and a prompt notice if there be a possibility of an adverse weather condition.
Outdoor businesses like amusement parks can be terribly affected during seasons of bad weather. No one would love to be beaten by terrible rain while having a nice roller coaster ride. As such, seasons of bad weather result in low business for these kinds of businesses.
This is no news to those in the air transportation sector and to those who use air transportation often. Unfavourable weather conditions are one of the issues that can adversely affect this sector, people get their flights postponed and sometimes cancelled due to the forecast of bad weather.
In the aviation industry, almost anything asides from a clear blue sky can be a problem; rainfall, storms, fog and the like. To ensure the safety of passengers, pilots are informed hours before the flight of the condition of the weather they will be experiencing during their flights.
Other than air transportation which I have concisely discussed, the transportation industry as a whole needs accurate and prompt weather information.
Transportation in this section covers other means of transportation excluding air transportation. From statistics, transportation companies lose about $3.5 million dollars annually as well as business hours due to severe weather events. Whether making passenger rides or freight shipping, any instance of bad weather is always displeasing to transportation companies.
LIMITING FACTORS TO ACCURATE WEATHER PREDICTIONS
Weather Forecasting is not like most other scientific fields that have a low rate of change in variable data. The variables and parameters collected for weather prediction rapidly change, which can adversely affect the result of a weather forecast. However, this does not mean the process is impossible.
When deciding the outcome of a weather forecast, the following conditions are paramount.
i. Amount and accuracy of available data
During weather data collection, the parameters obtained are the deciding factors in the accuracy of the weather prediction. The most common method of weather data collection involves the launch of a radiosonde-carrying weather balloon.
The radiosonde attached to the balloon has sensors that take the readings of the different parameters. The basic parameters a radiosonde takes readings of include altitude, pressure, temperature, relative humidity and wind (both speed and direction). Some radiosondes are designed to read parameters like cosmic rays etc. For a more accurate result, the radiosonde chosen should be able to collect sufficient data.
ii. The time available to analyze it
The time they say changes everything, this is absolutely true in this case. The amount of time put into work on collected weather data significantly influences the accuracy of the forecast.
Although, weather forecasting has become an easier task because of the development of better computer models that have a higher processing speed compared to the late 1990s. If on par, a weather forecast that has been analyzed given sufficient time would be more detailed and accurate than one with a lesser time.
iii. The complexity of weather events
Weather, as we all know is accustomed to rapid changes as such forecasted weather can easily escalate to become more complex making the weather prediction less accurate.
These are the major limitations to accurate weather forecasting. Here at Kanda weather, we acknowledge all of these and we use one of the best weather data collection devices to ensure that the primary stage in accurate weather forecasting is gotten right. This makes the ensuing processes easier and results in a more accurate weather forecast.