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Weather Forecasting: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 The Importance of Forecasts
  • 0:42 Tools for Forecasting
  • 1:55 Clouds
  • 2:32 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Elizabeth Hance

Elizabeth has taught elementary and middle school special education, and has a master's degree in reading education.

Have you ever headed outside on a sunny day, only to be caught in a rainstorm later that afternoon? Weather forecasting helps us dress and prepare for different types of weather. In this lesson, you'll be introduced to the basics of weather forecasting.

The Importance of Forecasts

A forecast is a prediction, or good guess, about the future. Specifically, weather forecasting is when scientists called meteorologists use many different tools to predict what the weather in the near future will be.

Weather can change quickly and may seem unpredictable. Checking the forecast can help you prepare for the weather. It will let you know if you need to wear layers as the temperature warms or to pack an umbrella in case of rain showers.

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

Tools for Forecasting

If you take a quick look out your window, you might think you can tell what the weather is. However, a clear, sunny day can be misleading when the temperatures are really below freezing! Meteorologists use many tools to accurately predict the weather.

One of the most common tools you can use to understand the weather (or your own health) is a thermometer. Many thermometers use mercury to quickly measure how warm or cool the air is. Meteorologists also use thermometers to keep track of the temperature over time and to track average temperatures.

A barometer is a tool similar to a thermometer, but it measures air pressure. When air pressure drops quickly, it often means that rain or a storm is coming. Rising air pressure usually means that the weather is getting better.

If you have seen a weather map with bright green or blue clouds on it, you've seen pictures from a weather satellite. Meteorologists today also use weather satellites to carefully track weather around the world.

By taking pictures from above the earth, weather satellites allow scientists to see weather patterns and storms across the globe. You can check satellite images to see if your home is in the path of a storm.

Clouds

You may have looked at clouds hoping to pick one out shaped like a dog or a clown. But you can also use what you learn about clouds to make your own weather forecast.

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