In today's world of modernized weather
forecasting, there are a lot of different weather instruments and
technologies that can be used by anyone, from children to professional
A perfect example of weather instrument's advancement is the thermometer.
After being used for hundreds of years, the invention of the thermometer
has been credited to people such as Avicenna, Cornelius Drebbel, Robert
Fludd, Galileo Galilei or Santorio Santorio. The thermometer is most likely
one of the most popular weather instrument still being used today. However,
we are unsure of how to assign this invention to any person in particular
because the thermometer was not a single invention, it was development.
Thermometer: There are actually several types of thermometer which
can be used for many purposes. There are both primary thermometers and
secondary thermometers. Most commonly, however, people use the basic around-the-house
thermometer for measuring air temperature. These are usually glass tubes
containing mercury or alcohol. As the air temperature rises, the liquid
moves up the scale to reflect the current temperature.
Barometer: This weather instrument is used to measure the air pressure.
As such, a rising barometer reflects sunny and dry weather conditions.
On the other hand, if the barometer falls, this means that is likely to
have stormy and wet weather conditions in the forecast. This weather instrument
was invented by an Italian scientist named Torricelli. He built the first
barometer in 1643.
Rain Gauge: These weather instruments, the rain gouge, are used
to measure the amount of rain water that has fallen over a specific period
of time. Like the thermometer, there are several different kinds of rain
gauges. Most rain gauges measure the precipitation in inches or centimeters,
but only in restricted areas. Some of the types of rain gauges include
graduated cylinders, weighing gauges, tipping bucket gauge, and simple
buried pit collectors.
Hydrometer: Hydrometers are weather instruments that measure the
humidity or water content in the air. This weather instrument is most
commonly used green houses, industrial spaces, saunas, humidors and museums.
The simplest form of a hygrometer is made of two thermometers. In order
for this weather instrument to work, one of the thermometers must constantly
be kept wet. Evaporation from the bulb lowers the temperature so that
this thermometer shows a lower temperature. Humidity is then computed
by comparing the difference in temperature between the "dry bulb
thermometer" and the "wet bulb thermometers".
Anemometer: This weather instrument uses very simple technology
to measure the wind speed. Each cup captures the blowing wind which turns
the dial attached to the instrument. This dial then shows the rate at
which the wind is currently moving. The weather instrument, otherwise
known as the cup-anemometer, was invented by John Thomas Romney Robinson
Barometer: The first mercury barometer was devised by Evangelista
Torricelli, a student of Galileo, in 1644. This technology is still being
used to measure the atmospheric pressure. A barometer is used for weather
predictions such as increasing pressure which assumes fair climate and
weather forecasts. Alternatively, decreasing pressure predicts heavy weather
fronts such as thundershowers or snowstorms.
Weather satellites: By definition a satellite is a device which
orbits another object. This, more advanced weather instrument and technology,
are able to photograph and track large-scale air movements. Once this
information is gathered, meteorologists compile and analyze the data with
the help of computers in order to predict certain weather conditions and
Weather balloons: The weather balloon is a fun and creative weather
instrument which can measure weather conditions higher in the atmosphere.
Once the data is transmitted by the balloon, meteorologist can place all
of that information on to a weather map by using certain symbols; a single
weather map can indicate atmospheric conditions above a large portion
of the earth's surface.
In conclusion, all of the above weather instruments represent only a
small portion of the technology which has been made available for us to
use in studying the weather. Just remember, if all else fails, don't forget
that you still have eyes to see for yourself. Always keep and eye to the
sky and you won't have to depend on such weather instruments to do the
job for you.
How the Weather Center Works
A Modern Look at the Weather