Weather is referred as atmospheric conditions that may be warm or cold, clear or cloudy, wet or dry, and calm or stormy. These weather conditions occur in the lowest part of the earth’s atmosphere called troposphere. It is variations in day to day temperature that characterize weather and its conditions. In this essay, we strive to know weather, its causes and effects, and weather forecasting and weather modification efforts.
When the term weather is referred; it is earth's weather and it differs from climate that refers to average weather conditions which sustain for a longer period. Causes of weather variations are imbalance in pressure. Weather impacts lives of individuals and communities immensely. That is why; people have been trying to forecast weather conditions since long. Weather forecasting refers to employment of science and technology to forecast weather conditions at a given time and location. It is weather that regulates human lives and their activities. Human beings have been trying to influence and control weather since time immemorial ("Weather & Climate Basics"; "Weather”).
The severe weather conditions occurring on the earth include the rain, snow, cloud, wind, dust storm and fog. While less common features includes natural disasters as ice storms, tornadoes, typhoons and hurricanes. All these weather conditions occur in the lower strata of the atmosphere that is adjacent to the earth. Weather is the outcome of differences in air pressure between two places. These differences of temperature and air pressure are caused by the incidence of sun rays in different angles at different places. A difference in surface temperature causes differences in pressure, and so, places at lower altitudes are warmer than that at higher altitudes. The incidence of sun rays is direct for warmer regions than places farther from tropics as they get sunlight indirectly. The contrasting temperatures of tropical and the polar air cause jet stream ("Beware of Wild Weather”; "Weather & Climate Basics”).
Weather plays a significant role in the shaping of the earth. The weathering process leads to breaking down of soils and rocks to their basic substances. The rain water absorbing and dissolving carbon dioxide of the surrounding air turns acidic that enhances its erosive properties. Chemicals and sediments so released take part freely in chemical reactions that further affect the surface, and cause acid rain and deposition of salt in oceans and seas. Thus, weather is a major factor in the erosion of earth’s surface (DeFelice, Golden, Griffith, and et al. 193-203; "Weather").
The weather differs at places with differing air pressure and surface winds. In the doldrums region, the pressure being low and surface winds light and variable, the weather there is cloudy, and rainy all through the year. The area referred as easterlies, 0-30 degrees North and South, or horse latitudes the weather conditions differ drastically. In the poles, 90 degrees North and South, high pressure and Southerly winds in Northern Hemisphere and Northerly winds in Southern Hemisphere, the weather is cold with dry air and sparse rainfall in all seasons (DeFelice, Golden, Griffith, and et al. 193-203; "Weather").
Weather has been impacting human beings right from their advent on this earth. Weather conditions and climatic changes have caused large scale migrations of people of different regions of the world. The history mentioned such incidents where weather has played a significant contribution in shaping the destiny of people, and in affecting big and historical events. Many wars had to be terminated prematurely due to rough and unbearable weather. It has caused severe famines due to its ill effects on agricultural activities, and loss of lives. Individual activities such as clothing, diet, human behavior, sexual activities, and outlook are influenced and regulated by weather to a very great extent.
Weather forecasting is the prediction of weather conditions over a given period, and place. Human beings have been trying to forecast weather since time immemorial. The techniques and equipments employed to predict weather have undergone a sea change. Most of the early weather forecasts were based on conjectures, signs, and activities of birds and animals. However, with the time and advent of the scientific approach, weather forecasting involves application of science and technology. Weather forecasting involves collection of quantitative data with respect to current weather condition, and understanding scientifically the atmospheric processes to visualize evolvement of weather subsequently ("Weather”).
However, weather forecasts are not so accurate despite being scientifically approached. The accuracy is affected as per the time gap between prediction time and time for which predictions have been made. Weather warnings based on weather forecasts save lives and properties, and re of immense use for the entire humanity ("Weather" ).
People have aspired all over the world to modify weather through the ages. Cloud seeding involves changing of the amount of rainfall, hail and fog by the technique of cloud condensation. Petersen and Bundgaard explained that the cloud droplets and interstitial cloud cores are surrounded by the atmosphere. Seeding procedures do not include managing every cloud or cloud system that passes overhead. A seeded cloud or cloud system includes potentially enhanced vibrant results or microphysical results, which usually enhance the amount of precipitations. In fact, human beings are unable to effect weather modification on a significant scale, but inadvertently; human activities have led to changes in weather due to industrial effluents, automobile emissions, greenhouse gases, and such other industrial emissions (Petersen, and Bundgaard 311-321)
In conclusion, weather is a condition of the atmosphere, and it varies from one state to other. The weather may be cloudy, clear, hot, cold, calm or stormy to name just a few. The causes of variations depend on differences in pressure between two places, and temperature and humidity. The tilting of the earth on its axis causes unequal heating of earth's surface, and it causes an imbalance of temperature and pressure between places. Weather influences human life, day to day as well as on long term basis, immensely. It virtually regulates human lives. It leads to such disastrous conditions as gale, hurricane, and strong winds. Efforts have been made to forecast weather to save lives and properties, and it as met with limited success although modern scientific and technological approaches have been made in this direction. Concerted efforts have also been made to control and change weather to suit human interest, but again, the success have been limited. Thus, weather is a significant factor in the life of humanity.
"Beware of Wild Weather" The National Centre for Atmospheric Research & the UCAR office of Program. <http://www.eo.ucar.edu/basics/wx_3.html>.
DeFelice, T.P., J Golden, D Griffith, and et al. "Extra area effects of cloud seeding — An updated assessment."Atmospheric Research. 135.136 (2014): 193-203. Print.
Petersen , Steffen, and Katrine Wieck Bundgaard. "The effects of weather forecast uncertainty on a predictive control concept for building system operation." Applied Energy. 116. (2014): 311-321. Print.
"Weather" Wikipedia, Web. 19 Feb. 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weather>.
"Weather & Climate Basics" The National Centre for Atmospheric Research & the UCAR office of Program. <http://www.eo.ucar.edu/basics/>.