How Do Computer Forecast Models Work?

Tools

By By Steve Pool

SEATTLE - Forecasting models are man's attempt to take a current picture of the entire Earth's atmosphere and then figure out where everything's going to go from there.

Once we have the current weather data from around the globe, we run the data through some incredibly complex mathematical formulas for how we know the atmosphere works, and then extrapolate that data over the next 1-10 days.

It'll then display the forecasted areas of clouds, temperature, humidity, wind patterns, etc. over whatever area we decide -- models can range from global in scale to as close as just western Washington.

Once you have that data, the trick is then interpreting the data into a generalized forecast. Most models can also take that data, and apply it to what's happened in similar situations in the past, and give out forecasted temperatures, rainfall amounts, humidity, etc.

Your Photos

YouNews Up! Up! And away! Up! Up! And away!
When I saw this dramatic cloud to the north, it reminded me of smoke, rising in billows until it hits the jet stream, then it's pulled hundreds of miles east. I had to capture it quickly. Within minutes the effect had faded.
YouNews Inside an osprey nest Inside an osprey nest
For my girlfriends birthday we had a party at her parents. We knew the nest was there but the owner hadn't seen or heard the osprey for a day or two. He asked me to fly my drone up and see if any was wrong. I flew up and found that there were two eggs inside.
YouNews Our Garden Our Garden
The growing season has been great.

The secret to this garden is simple.
I used recycled grass clippings.