The advancement of technology and technological practices is such a blessing to modern-day man. Today, the use of computers and computer models in executing tasks can only make you imagine life some decades ago as being a difficult one. However, people lived their lives and loved it. Surprising, isn’t it?
The concept of weather forecasting is an old field of science that dates as far back as man’s earliest civilization. Back in the day, weather predictions were based on either weather seasons (rainy season or dry season) or inquiry of a rainmaker etc. Gladly, with advancements in science and technological practices, we have grown past this stage.
Today, we rely on computer models for a thorough analysis of weather data before making predictions and forecasts about the weather. Wait! On a more deliberate note, why is man so curious to know about the weather of the future? I believe you already have an answer to that. However, this thread will discuss how weather can affect you.
INTRODUCTION TO WEATHER FORECASTING & WARNING
Weather Forecasting involves the application of science and technology in the prediction of the weather for a given location and time using atmospheric data readings. This is done by a class of scientists called meteorologists.
Comparing the accuracy of weather forecasts and predictions between then and now, the level of advancement in this field is obvious. This should be great news!
Weather warnings are also weather forecasts just that in its case, something is up and people need to take action to avoid loss of lives or damage to properties and infrastructure.
To define the term, a weather warning is an alert issued by weather or meteorological agencies to warn people of severe weather likely to occur. The predicted weather may likely result in loss of lives and other economic damages. Therefore, it is treated with urgency.
There are many weather conditions that belong to this category. Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Severe thunderstorms, Landslides, Avalanches, Floods, Flash flooding, and significant snowfalls are examples of weather conditions that would require a weather warning.
BENEFITS OF WEATHER FORECASTING & WARNING
Weather forecasting has improved with the increase in the computation capacity of modern-day computer models. Gladly, I do not have to worry about the outcome of the weather tomorrow while planning a meeting. But this isn’t the only benefit of weather forecasting.
Here are some benefits of weather forecasting & warning
Protection of Life & Property — Many reports of extreme weather disasters result in severe damage to infrastructures and properties; in the worst cases, people lose their lives. It is observed that in disasters with a higher fatality rate, the more frequent cause was the absence of a prior weather forecast or warning.
Depending on the severity of the disaster, accurate weather forecasting can prevent property damages worth millions of dollars.
Increase in Farming Productivity — Farming, especially in developing countries is mostly subsistent (farming for one’s personal use) and the farmers rely on natural sources of water like rainfall, rivers and lakes for increased productivity of their farmlands. As a result of this, planting is done based on the season.
Weather and climate influence the amount of rainfall and the temperature in a given area, which in turn impacts crop yield. In local communities, most farmers begin their planting season after the first rainfall of the year but due to rapid climate change, this practice isn’t effective for optimum crop productivity anymore.
Therefore, the availability of a periodic and accurate weather forecast can help farmers make good decisions regarding planting, soil amending and fertigation etc. for a productive planting season.
Weather Warning and Warning Colours
In weather forecasting, meteorologists use colour grids to determine the severity of weather predictions. This colour grid is very effective as it carries a message as to what action should be taken with respect to the forecast. The weather colour grid is a variant of four colours phasing from green to yellow to orange then red depending on the severity and impact of the forecast.
Common weather occurrences fall within the yellow grid. This kind of weather event may happen a few times a week. Extreme weather occurrences of the Red-grid category may occur less than five times in a year.
What the Colours mean
In general reading, a green grid requires no action from the populace; a yellow grid is an alert for the people to watch and stay updated; an orange grid describes weather with a possibility to escalate and requires people to be alert or prepared; a red grid is a direct call for action this may require a restriction of movements or in other cases evacuation.