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Meteorology - Is It Worth Studying For My Own Personal Use?


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#1 Wannabelifeguard

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 01:03 AM

Hi team,

 

Just wondering if I do some study of meteorology in my own time, will I end up being able to predict weather in short-term timeframes without the aid of instruments?

 

I know that in general, meteorologist have a range of scientific instruments to help them. But what I am interested in learning is how to predict weather when I have been out in the wilderness for five days.

 

I can check the weather forecast, but that is less and less accurate the further ahead in time you are looking. It often does not cover the places I want to go camping.

 

Among other things, it would be good to be able to predict if the temperature was going to change dramatically at nightfall, that way if I was ever lost I can decide to stay put (best strategy for being found) or backtrack (second best strategy for being found) depending on how prepared I am for the likely weather.

 

I have experienced dramatic drops in temperature before (always had warm gear with me though), and it would be great if I could predict that.



#2 montgomery

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Posted 11 July 2020 - 02:09 PM

It's simple wannabe, you could become the best meteorologist there ever, ever was and then get it right more often. It's just that it seems to be a lot of unnecessary work so you can go camping and backpacking. 

 

Have you considered talking to Thoth about supernatural methods of predicting the weather more accurately? 



#3 Mutex

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 01:02 AM

Ignore the snark.. 

 

The answer is yes, of course, learning new things is always a good idea, and in your case a few simple things in regards to the local weather conditions would help you.

 

So for example you might get an idea of how hot or cold it is or if it might rain depending on the wind direction and cloud cover in the morning.

 

Even with simple rules of thumb like 'Red sky in the morning sailors warning, red sky at night, sailors delight'.. 

Of course even simple instruments can give you vital information, even a rock on a bit of string, if the rock is wet... it's raining.... If the rock is swinging.. it is windy !!

 

At the worst at least you have something to talk about with strangers to pass the time.. 



#4 Wannabelifeguard

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 03:08 AM

Thanks for your response Mutex. 

 

How much time do you think I will need to study meteorology before I get to the point that I can read the weather? So far, I have studied a Meteorology chapter of an Earth Science textbook and have a general idea of how weather works - but so far, it is not really information I can apply. I could explain what probably happened to cause the current weather, but unsure how to apply it to predict what the weather will be like later in the day.

 

I am particularly interested in how to predict unexpected temperature drops, as I have had this happen to me in the past. On another occasion I lay down exhausted after walking all day and fell asleep. It had been extremely hot all day but when I woke up it was dark and I was covered in dew, freezing cold.



#5 Mutex

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 03:17 AM

You would not have to study very much, a lot is obvious and many things you will already know from experience. 

 

It's just the basics, like in your area what typically happens when you have winds from a certain direction, and things like what type of clouds you are looking at and what that might mean in terms of storms or rain. 

 

All pilots have a basic understanding of these kinds of things, it's just an augmentation of what you already know from experience with a bit of informal study.

 

I expect for you things like a wind direction change could bring with it cold very quickly, if the winds start to come from the North for example (assuming Northern Hemisphere) and if it has been hot that might be conditions for a tropical type storm or even tornado's. 

 

But I am sure someone will have written a book on the subject, things to notice and look out for..  And you can always hang up a rock with some string :D



#6 montgomery

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 11:21 AM

Thanks for your response Mutex. 

 

How much time do you think I will need to study meteorology before I get to the point that I can read the weather? So far, I have studied a Meteorology chapter of an Earth Science textbook and have a general idea of how weather works - but so far, it is not really information I can apply. I could explain what probably happened to cause the current weather, but unsure how to apply it to predict what the weather will be like later in the day.

 

I am particularly interested in how to predict unexpected temperature drops, as I have had this happen to me in the past. On another occasion I lay down exhausted after walking all day and fell asleep. It had been extremely hot all day but when I woke up it was dark and I was covered in dew, freezing cold.

I think there is a big potential for doing more harm than good in a little knowledge. Meteorologists will still get it right much more often than you will.

What area are you talking about where there is no reliable weather report.

 

For an example from my own experience, when I was sailing the Pacific ocean I would listen to the USCG weather with a blow up globe in my hand. They report thusly: Storm centered at (Lat-Long) moving in the direction of 160 degrees true at (xx) knots, etc.. I  moved my finger in that direction on my globe and roughly calculated when the storm would hit me or if it would be close or distant enough to just ignore. My method got me through for two years of sailing. Can you work out a similar method for your camping and hiking? 

 

It's likely more reliable than the swinging rock method and you're not going to get anywhere near the results yourself without a thorough study of meteorology.

 

Wind direction change is usually a significant indication of weather change but the example of a northerly bringing bad weather is exactly the opposite of what happens in my region. It's a south-easterly that brings rain. (most often than not)


Edited by montgomery, 12 July 2020 - 11:23 AM.


#7 Wannabelifeguard

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Posted 12 July 2020 - 09:32 PM

You would not have to study very much, a lot is obvious and many things you will already know from experience. 

 

It's just the basics, like in your area what typically happens when you have winds from a certain direction, and things like what type of clouds you are looking at and what that might mean in terms of storms or rain. 

 

All pilots have a basic understanding of these kinds of things, it's just an augmentation of what you already know from experience with a bit of informal study.

 

I expect for you things like a wind direction change could bring with it cold very quickly, if the winds start to come from the North for example (assuming Northern Hemisphere) and if it has been hot that might be conditions for a tropical type storm or even tornado's. 

 

But I am sure someone will have written a book on the subject, things to notice and look out for..  And you can always hang up a rock with some string :D

 

Thanks, I have found a book. It looks like it will be at least three months worth of study. I was just wanting to make sure that at the end of it, I would actually be able to predict weather in the context of camping trips.

 

I live in New Zealand, and there is a lot of difficulty in predicting weather here because of the mountains throughout the country. 

 

I like your idea about wind direction. I can even use a compass for that. Southerlies bring in the cold air here.  

 

Clouds are difficult to see under the forest canopy, but you often find open spaces, even if only briefly.