Q:

What tools do meteorologists use?

A:

Quick Answer

Some of the tools meteorologists use to collect information on weather and climate include thermometers, barometers, sling psychrometers and rain gauges. They also use anemometers, hygrometers, weather maps, weather balloons and weather satellites.

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Full Answer

A thermometer allows meteorologists to measure the temperature of the atmosphere. Thermometers are typically glass tubes filled with alcohol, mercury or other liquids. They show the temperature when the air surrounding the tube heats the liquid, causing the liquid to expand and go up the tube.

A barometer is used to gauge air pressure, and helps meteorologists determine whether the air pressure is increasing or decreasing. Meteorologists measure relative humidity with a sling psychrometer, which uses evaporation’s cooling effect and consists of two thermometers. They measure the amount of rain that falls during a particular period using a rain gauge, and they use a wind vane to discern the direction the wind blows.

An anemometer measures wind speed, while a hygrometer measures the atmosphere’s humidity. Weather maps show atmospheric conditions over a bigger area of the Earth’s surface, and they help meteorologists make weather forecasts. Weather balloons are useful in gauging weather conditions in the upper layers of the atmosphere. Meteorologists also gather and examine data sent by weather satellites, which are capable of monitoring massive air movements.

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