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The Forecast Process - forecasting the future
Once a meteorologist has thoroughly reviewed the current weather and
ascertained what processes are producing it, the forecaster can begin to look in the future.
Forecasters will typically use the "Forecast Funnel" technique. The
forecast funnel is a concept that focuses the forecasters' attention first
on large scale processes, and then on increasingly smaller scales.
Numerical weather prediction models are computer simulations of the
atmosphere. These models provide the foundation of the weather forecast.
The models use an analysis of the current weather as a starting point
and then project the state of the atmosphere in the future.
The models use complicated physics and fluid dynamics equations that
require supercomputers to solve them.
In addition to the numerical weather prediction models, forecasters will draw
upon conceptual models, experience, and research to produce the forecast.
The forecasters will then conduct a thorough review the output of these models. At times, the models yield
different results, and in these circumstances, forecasters will try to determine which models
perform best for the given situation or they will seek a consensus solution. Computer models and other
weather data are viewable on the AWIPS workstations. The main graphical interface
has the ability to show several "windows" with different data. These can be switched
back and forth between the large window and the small windows.