What is weather forecasting?

Weather forecasting is a prediction (a guess) of what the weather will be like. There are many factors that can change the weather from one moment to the next, so weather forecasting isn’t always 100% accurate. 

It’s easier to predict what the weather will be like today than to predict what the weather will be like over weeks and months.

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People who study the weather are called meteorologists.


Why is it important to know the weather?

Knowing what the weather will be like is very helpful for people who work outdoors. It helps farmers know what crops to grow. It helps pilots know if it’s safe to fly and ship captains know if it’s safe to go out to sea.

Knowing the weather can also help us plan family picnics and school trips!

In many parts of the world, weather forecasts can help save lives. Meteorologists can warn us to seek shelter from tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and many other dangerous weather conditions.

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Studying the weather?

Today we have many instruments to study the weather like satellites, radar and giant weather balloons; but we didn’t always have these clever devices. 

In the past, humans used to study the clouds, plants and animals around them to know what the weather would be like. Before it rains cows lie down, ants form a line, dogs go inside and pine cones close. 

Does this mean animals can predict the weather too? Could you imagine a dog as a weather reporter on TV? As funny as it would be, animals can’t really predict the weather like humans can. Instead, they use their senses to pick up on changes in the environment, and then they react to these changes. People can also use their senses to detect changes but animals use them much more than we do.