What are weather observations?

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.


Weather is the state of the atmosphere from day to day. It includes temperature, atmospheric pressure, clouds, wind, and precipitation.

NWS to Announce Organizational Changes - TODAY 11am EDT

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Logo
National Weather Service (NWS) director will be briefing the press shortly on its "evolving operations, workforce and organizational structure to bring more nationwide consistency to the science and service it delivers." The online press briefing will take place at 11 am EDT. The briefing will feature the National Weather Service Director Louis Uccellini, and Deputy Director Laura Furgione.

Interactive maps of global climate information

NOAA View is a data exploration tool produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and developed by the NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory. It contains an enormous amount of information relevant to global geoscience issues in interactive map form. Over 100 different datasets are available on a wide range of topics related to the Earth system. Datasets include:

EARTH: Crippling Heat Stress Projected by Midcentury in Densely Populated Regions

This issue, EARTH Magazine explores the world's top weather-related killer: exposure to extreme heat. Humans' response to extreme heat leads to heat stress, an illness related to the body's inability to cool itself. Humidity plays a crucial role, because as humidity increases, the ability of sweat to evaporate and cool the body decreases.


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