The last few years have seen much change in publishing as new media come into play, but in many areas, there is no substitute for a printed book. Fortunately, recent changes have seen well-loved imprints ending up in safe hands and the Adlard Coles Nautical imprint is one such. This new edition of a very popular title is now in its fifth reprint and it has been fully revised. An excellent and very valuable pocket book.
NAME: Instant Weather Forecasting, 5th Edition, You can Predict the Weather
AUTHOR: Alan Watts
PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury, Adlard Coles Nautical
BINDING: soft back
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Weather forecasting, sky scapes, clouds, visual reference, cloud formations, observation, climate, gardening, farming, walking, riding, golfing, sailing, fishing
DESCRIPTION: The last few years have seen much change in publishing as new media come into play, but in many areas, there is no substitute for a printed book. Fortunately, recent changes have seen well-loved imprints ending up in safe hands and the Adlard Coles Nautical imprint is one such. This new edition of a very popular title is now in its fifth reprint and it has been fully revised. An excellent and very valuable pocket book.
One of the surprising aspects of weather forecasting is that weather forecasters are still as likely to achieve less than the probability of chance, as they are to provide a very accurate forecast. This is in spite of investing huge sums in the most powerful computers and constellations of satellites. There are many reasons for this. In general, very short term forecasts are more likely to be accurate than inaccurate, at least on a regional forecast. Some conditions are more difficult than others. Even with the most sophisticated equipment, a very small deviation in expected wind direction, and/or speed, can create a very significant change from the weather that was forecast.
One offender is the jet stream which can cause major variations from the weather that was forecast only hours before. The jet streams in the northern and southern hemispheres are a relatively recent discovery, or re-discovery. Originally discovered by a Japanese scientist before World War Two, his paper was unfortunately written in Esperanto which he believed would ensure global recognition. As this was not the universal language some had hoped for, virtually no one read his outstanding work and it was not until the latter stages of war in the Pacific that the northern jet-stream was rediscovered. The USAAF believed its B-29 crews were showing a lack of determination to attack the Japanese home islands from high altitude. Reports by crews that they were being blown off course were not believed and court marshals were being prepared. The crews were fortunate that someone did double check their reports and re-discovered the high speed winds that blew in the upper atmosphere at an altitude that the B-29 could reach as a pressurized aircraft. Today, airlines depend on knowing the course of the jet streams because they can plan flights to avoid or ride a jet-stream, making a considerable saving in fuel and reducing flight times on long distance routes. However, this knowledge had yet to extend to the point where it is good enough to improve weather forecasting. Most commonly, weather presenters cite a jet-stream course as an excuse for a highly inaccurate earlier forecast.
Modern forecasting by professional forecasters depends heavily on following actual reports and looking at the history of weather. Satellites greatly assist this approach and computer databases can hold huge amounts of historic data. Unfortunately detailed recordings of actual weather through history is still relatively young and there are weather cycles that cover very much longer periods than the longest records available, that also cover few points of measurement.
This popular amateur weather forecasting guide is surprisingly effective and perhaps a question to be asked is why professional forecasters don’t double check their predictions by getting outside and looking at the sky.
The book begins with some very helpful overviews in text, supported by some easy to understand sketches and images. It then looks at each of the main aspects of weather with an excellent photograph of a skyscape, facing a page of key information. For anyone venturing outside, and wanting to know the likely conditions over the next few hours, this guide provides a very high probability of success in estimating what the next few hours will bring.
Once the reader has studied the notes and used the photographs over a period to forecast weather conditions, skill will develop and progressively longer forecasts will be possible. All the reader has to do is keep checking the sky and locating matching images of cloud formations in the book.
The book is very easy to carry in a pocket and it can be refereed to as frequently as the reader wishes. Its also still easier and faster than using a weather app on a tablet of mobile phone. The printed page is still very dependable and difficult to replace. Not least, it requires no batteries, or warm-up time, just take it from the pocket and turn the pages as quickly as needed.