In the modern world there is an ever-increasing demand for more accurate weather forecasts. The needs for weather prediction are many. From factories to farms, from satellite launching stations to commerce and industries and even from general public there is a persistent demand for more reliable weather forecasts.
Besides, the architects and the industrialists alike rely on a sound knowledge of the three dimensional atmosphere. In the present air-age the exact knowledge of the coming weather is more than necessary.
In the field of agricultural planning, the importance of weather prediction cannot be overemphasized. For example, even one night’s killing frost, if not predicted well in advance, may prove fatal to some of the most valuable sensitive crops.
Similarly, the menace of floods and droughts is evident to all of us. But if there is a timely prediction about their occurrence, much can be done to minimize the damage and destruction caused by such natural calamities.
It is undoubtedly true that all human activities are directly or indirectly affected by the vagaries of weather elements. That is why we are not satisfied with only short-range weather forecasts, but there is, more than ever before, an ever-growing demand for quite accurate and reliable medium-range and even long-range weather prediction.
It is, therefore, true that if everyone, who could make use of the weather predictions, were to have information available when required and in the form required, much human welfare and economic benefits would be within reach.
All these demands have placed greater burden and responsibilities on the National Weather Service for better and long-range weather forecasts.
In most cases, accurate weather forecasting happens to be the ultimate target of atmospheric research. It is also the most sophisticated area in meteorology. It may be noted that the nature of modern weather forecasting is very complex and highly quantitative.
It involves a sound knowledge of higher mathematics, physics and other branches of pure science. But in the present chapter an attempt has been made only to highlight the different approaches used to predict the coming weather.