Understanding Weather

Understanding Weather (52:00)
Item# 11938

What causes the cycles of weather? How is it possible to forecast where they are headed and when they will arrive? This program takes a comprehensive look at weather, from the history of meteorology to the global network of satellites, balloons, ocean buoys, and reports from aviators that enables scientists to chart and predict its course. Experts from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration show how the incredible mass of meteorological data is constantly being turned into a global weather map. Geochemists and research meteorologists from NOAA and the National Severe Storms Laboratory discuss such topics as tornadoes and the earth’s long-term forecast. A Discovery Channel Production. (51 minutes)

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Segments in this Video - (16)

1. Weather (03:04)
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Weather is always changing and repeating.

2. Tornado Hunting (03:05)

In the American Midwest, tornadoes are a definite part of spring and summer. Scientists chase tornado conditions to try to understand them and save lives.

3. How did Weather Form on Earth? (03:30)

Our planet was once much like the moon with no atmosphere. Gasses absorbed from space and comets touching the Earth's surface provided the moisture to create our current atmosphere.

4. Fire, Earth, Wind, and Water (03:02)

Heat from the sun is the force that powers weather. The air currents move high and low pressure systems across the Earths surface.

5. Making and Forecasting Weather (03:02)

The sun's heat causes evaporation which stores energy that is blown by the wind. It then releases the energy and condenses to form clouds and weather. Forecasting weather is an educated guess.

6. Early Forecasting (03:00)

Benjamin Franklin discovered that weather travels from west to east. As communication advances were made, telegraph operators began reporting weather to create the first weather maps.

7. NOAA (03:05)

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration uses computer models to attempt to predict the weather. The predictions are only as good as the information about the current weather.

8. La Nina (03:23)

Most people plan their day around the weather for their area. La Nina creates difficult situations for predicting the weather such as storm stalling and vertical winds.

9. Forecasting Across America (03:04)

Mountainous areas have unpredictable weather but clouds can indicate the type off weather coming. Tornados are common to the Midwest characterized by greenish clouds.

10. Forming Tornados (03:04)

A super cell thunderstorm forms along a squall line which is visible from space. A mesocyclone drops out of these clouds spawning tornados. Scientist track these conditions using lightening rockets.

11. Flying into the Storm (03:05)

Airplanes experience extreme turbulence and wind burst when flying though a super cell storms. Scientists are intentionally flying through storms to find ways to keep people safe when flying.

12. Project VORTEX (03:07)

Finding clues within the tornado gives more advanced safety warnings. This is done through the project Verification of the Origins of Rotation in Tornados EXperiment (VORTEX).

13. Repeating Tornados (03:05)

Storms can produce tornadoes in a cyclic fashion. The lifting of the leading edge of the previous tornado creates a new tornado.

14. The Whole Weather Picture (03:26)

Meteorologists find interest in whole tornados and how they fit into to whole weather picture. Combing this with sun observation tells scientist more about the weather of the future.

15. Human Impact on Atmosphere (03:03)

We are dependant on the sun and its affect on our planet. Greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere increase the temperature on Earth and eventually lead to cooling and the ice age.

16. Reversing Our Impact on Earth (02:11)

Climate shifts have an increasing impact on our exploding population. A reduction in output of greenhouse gasses has great economic consequences for the world.

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