Weather Maps and Images Interpretation
Weather and climate of a place depend on the following factors: latitude, longitude, altitude, proximity to large water bodies, distribution of land and water bodies, structure and nature of the soil, anthropogenic activities, incoming solar radiation, and the tilt of the earth's axis. The basic elements of weather and climate are the same. The most important of these are: temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, sunshine, pressure, wind speed and direction. These elements are determined by the complex interplay of a number of factors: pressure, winds and upper air circulation, distance from the sea, relief, soil type and vegetation.
There is no aspect of life on earth, where weather and climate can be kept out of consideration. Food, clothing, housing, transport, communication, games and sports, recreation, religious practices, whatever it is, weather and climate have a role to play in that field whether it is major or minor. A sensible approach to identify the significance of it and adequately meeting demands would put the managers in the forefront among the competitors.
Weather and climate on the one hand and the physical environment of the earth together with the biosphere on the other have mutual interactions with one another. The impacts of weather and climate differ essentially on time scales. Knowledge of weather is essential for short-term planning. Knowledge of climate is essential for long-term planning.
Evidently, faded out cities, monuments and settlements are the reminiscences that speak about the changes that have occurred over ages. Climate change and variability are the terms, which are heard frequently and are acquiring increasing importance. It can also be seen that they find berth in unsolved mysteries pertaining to ecological or other sociological phenomena.
Variability of climate affects all the sections of the society; most affected being the agricultural sector. This tells upon the supporting and related sectors such as fertilisers, food grains, transport industries and other various underground sectors, particularly in developing countries.
The weather map, analysis chart or synoptic chart, shows isobars (contours of constant pressure), highs and lows (centres of maximum or minimum pressure), fronts (boundaries of air masses) and station data (wind, weather, cloud cover, cloud type, barometric pressure, temperature and precipitation). The amount of detail included depends on the scale of the map, but even a simple map contains a large amount of data. It needs considerable practice to understand a weather map, but the knowledge will come easily and will be very satisfying. By all means look out-of-doors at your own location and analyse what you see in terms of your map study. Particularly interesting is correlating the cloud forms with weather conditions. The kind of map that mainly concerns us gives actual measurements at some definite time in the past, not a prediction of future events, and is called an analysis chart.
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