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Weather Instruments

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 meteorologists.

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 in 1846.

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 forecasts.

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.


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