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Methods of meteorology at The Weather Network

Meteorologists tracking weather systems
Meteorologists tracking weather systems

Andrea Stockton, staff writer

Patrick Cool is a meteorologist at The Weather Network and he explains the methods behind the madness of forecasting the weather.

Observing the computer models before the morning briefing
Observing the computer models before the morning briefing

Whether it's a severe thunderstorm or preparing for a long weekend, most people turn to The Weather Network for the latest weather details. And it's often the people behind the scenes that help to shape that information.

“We are tasked with creating forecasts and associated graphics, which are seen on and on TV,” says Patrick Cool, one of the many meteorologists here at The Weather Network. Cool says a lot goes into developing accurate and informative details especially when severe weather strikes.

One of the main concerns that meteorologists face is giving communities plenty of lead time before a storm rolls in. From analyzing radar and satellite images to weather station observations and public reports on our Stormline, the team covers it all.

“We strive to identify all impactful weather threats and inform our viewers in a timely and accurate manner,” says Cool.

Meteorologists help prepare on-air personalities like Suzanne Leonard
Meteorologists help prepare on-air personalities like Suzanne Leonard

But as we all know, weather can change and a storm may not pan out as originally predicted. Computer models are the main tools that meteorologists use, and as Cool explains, there can be an overload of information to ingest.

“They [computer models] would need to know about every swirl of wind across the continent in order to come close to a perfect forecast. Weather observation networks just do not cover the area required to accomplish this. This means that one missed gust of wind could potentially snowball into a significant change from what is forecast.”

He adds that sometimes Mother Nature decides to just dance to her own tune.

“So even with intuitive forecasting skills and the latest computer guidance, she loves to throw curve balls at us.”

Meteorologists are trained to be experts of the atmosphere and with the help of the on-air weather presenters, they inform viewers of what's to come.

“Since 1960 when the first weather satellite sent images back to Earth, meteorologists have been keeping a super bird's-eye view of cloud patterns from space all across the globe,” notes Cool.

For all of you weather enthusiasts out there who want to hear more from one of our lead meteorologists, you can follow Chris Scott's blog as he discusses recent weather events.

You can also find out more about the weather in your area by heading to our Canadian Cities Index section of our website.

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