Measuring the Weather

People called meteorologists study weather using special measuring equipment:
  • An anemometer measures how fast the wind is blowing. Cups catch the wind are pushed around, whilst a meter records how quickly they spin.
  • A thermometer measures the temperature in degrees Celsius. Most contain a liquid called mercury which expands and moves up a tube when it gets hotter.
  • A rain gauge measures how much precipitation (rain, sleet, snow or hail) has fallen in millimetres.  It is collected at ground level.
  • A weather vane measures the direction the wind is blowing in.

Forecasters look for weather patterns in the past to help them predict what weather will happen in the future. They plot their forecast on a weather chart using symbols.

The United Kingdom Weather Forecast, August 10th 2003