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Laura's Lessons: Measure your own weather

Welcome to Laura's Lessons, where she will be bringing you wonderful weather facts and experiments from home to keep you busy during the lockdown.

Have you ever wondered how weather forecasts are made and how you can make your own?

Laura explains how measuring and forecasting from your home could help the Met Office forecast national weather, by using their mind-boggling supercomputer.

Laura also shows you how to make your very own rain gauge.

Watch the video here: https://youtu.be/EaaUeKRhG34

Laura's guide to measuring the weather from home

Laura with one of her weather instruments

Temperature: If you have your own thermometer, note down the temperature the day you head out in Celcius..

Wind speed: Use an anemometer if you have one, although you can actually find out the windspeed if you use the Beaufort scale, which looks at windspeed and how the trees and leaves are moving.

Wind direction: Look at what direction the trees are moving or hold up a leaf or a piece of grass to see which way it flows.

Pressure: If you have a barometer at home, you can measure the current pressure.

Cloud: In meteorology, an OKTA is a unit of measurement used to describe the amount of cloud cover at any given location. If you have your piece or paper and marker, why not give it a go yourself by looking at the sky.

Laura shows how to measure clouds

Rainfall: Make your own rain gauge - use an empty bottle, black marker pen, ruler, measuring jug and a funnel. Watch the video above for instructions.

Laura's homemade rain gauge

How are weather forecasts made?

Weather forecasts are made from weather observations from all around the world.

Laura explains: "This is because as we need to know what is happening right now so we are able to predict what will happen in the future. This is done through satellite observations, radars, ship observations, planes flying through the sky and hundreds and thousands of observers around the world that go out every hour to look at the weather and they send them to the Met office."

Laura presenting live on Good Morning Britain

What happens to the weather observations?

From the observations created around the world, they then go into the Met Office's supercomputer.

Laura says: "At the moment, 215 billion weather observations go into the supercomputer every day. It then crunches the numbers, by doing 16 trillion calculations a second! Once they go into the supercomputer, it looks at what is happening right now, so that it can predict the weather in the future. There are thousands of experts and forecasters that interpret this data. Before I go onto Good Morning Britain, this information is passed to me through guidance."

The Met Office's supercomputer

How your measurements can be used to forecast weather

The Met Office's WOW website Credit: Met Office

Don't forget to tweet us with your weather observations: #LaurasLessons.

If you enjoyed this lesson you can try Laura's other homeschooling science lessons:

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Weekdays | 6am-9am