What are weather observations?

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3-D image of the Reno County intense thunder storm showing the intense part of the storm extending upward to over 40,000 feet. This image was derived from doppler radar observations of the storm. (Credit: NOAA/NWS)

All sciences begin with observations. Without observations, scientists have no way to develop new theories and to test existing theories. The weather is no exception. Meteorologists (scientists who study the weather) observe many elements of the weather, both at the Earth's surface and at high altitudes. Weather observations are used for predicting the weather and for developing and testing new theories about how the weather works.