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Predicting the Weather

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Areas of Science
Time Required
Average (6-10 days)
Material Availability
Readily available
Low ($20 - $50)
No issues
Ben Finio, PhD, Science Buddies
This project is based on a DragonflyTV episode.
*Note: For this science project you will need to develop your own experimental procedure. Use the information in the summary tab as a starting place. If you would like to discuss your ideas or need help troubleshooting, use the Ask An Expert forum. Our Experts won't do the work for you, but they will make suggestions and offer guidance if you come to them with specific questions.

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Before you head for school for the day, you might check the weather to see whether or not you need to wear a jacket or bring an umbrella. It is pretty easy for you to check the TV or internet to see what the weather will be like today, tomorrow, or even next week. The modern-day science of meteorology, or studying and predicting the weather, has many advanced tools at its disposal that make it easy for you to get this information.

How did people predict the weather before the invention of radar, satellites, and computers? Predicting the weather could be a life-or-death situation for sailors braving long ocean voyages, or farmers planting crops that they needed for the year. Before modern times, many people would use simple homemade devices or signs observed in nature to predict the weather. Have you ever seen a weather vane on top of a barn, pointing in the direction the wind is blowing? What about hearing a saying like "red sky at night, sailor's delight; red sky at morning, sailors take warning," or if that if cows are laying down in their fields, rain is coming? Is there any real science behind these sayings, or are they just myths?

Do an experiment to find out, by comparing three different methods of predicting the weather:

For a period of a week or more, use each of the three techniques to predict the next day's weather. The following day, record the actual weather. Which techniques are the most accurate at predicting the weather? Which are the worst?

If you need help getting started with your research for this project, see the references in the Bibliography.


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General citation information is provided here. Be sure to check the formatting, including capitalization, for the method you are using and update your citation, as needed.

MLA Style

Finio, Ben. "Predicting the Weather." Science Buddies, 17 May 2023, https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Weather_p001/weather-atmosphere/predicting-the-weather. Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

APA Style

Finio, B. (2023, May 17). Predicting the Weather. Retrieved from https://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project-ideas/Weather_p001/weather-atmosphere/predicting-the-weather

Last edit date: 2023-05-17
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