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Measuring weather

measure An integral part of understanding what weather is and recognizing various weather features, like cold fronts and monsoons, is the act of measuring the weather. Measuring weather is accomplished using a number of different tools of wide-ranging complexity, from rulers to satellites.

Making measurements, or observations, of the weather helps us determine if it is hot or cold, wet or dry, windy or calm, sunny or cloudy, and even what kinds of unusual chemicals might be floating about. It is a very important act that is practiced by amateurs and professionals alike, with varying degrees of accuracy and precision that have generally improved throughout the history of weather observations.

The results of weather observations have many applications, including directing a group of friends to eat indoors or out, determining whether an airplane should take off, initializing a weather forecast, or becoming the basic building block for compiling a record of climatology.

At it's simplest, there are two types of weather measurements:
  • in situ - measurements taken from within the air sample being measured
  • remote - measurements taken from outside the air sample being measured

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