Meteorologists are people who study the maps of the weather to predict what is to come.
Depending on what the weather might be, we can better decide whether to play outside or to watch a movie. Weather reports are important to farmers, sailors, pilots, travelers and outdoor enthusiasts. Meteorologists predict bad weather conditions and alert us to be ready for hurricanes, tornadoes and blizzards heading our way.
Forecasting weather can be difficult. Large amounts of weather data are needed in order to complete this task. Several times a day, meteorologists get data about water vapor, temperature, precipitation, winds, clouds, pressure and cloud cover from stations on land. They receive data from hundreds of ships, buoys, weather balloons, radar stations and satellites. They assemble and analyze the information using powerful computers that create and graph maps that collect this information.
Although weather maps help us to learn about the weather, it still takes a meteorologist to take into account local factors that affect the weather, such as the presence of hills or lakes. Every day, weather maps appear on newspapers, TV and on the Internet. If you know the meaning of symbols used on maps, you could understand the weather forecast better, and avoid getting caught in the rain!
[Source: Scholastic Atlas of Weather]