Slide 92 of 95
Super computers located near Washington, D.C., are fed data from around the world: satellite information, radar output, surface observations, and upper air observations from balloons and aircraft. The data are entered into weather forecasting models that mathematically simulate the behavior of the atmosphere. The computer takes current weather conditions and steps it forward through time. Forecasters receive these computer projections and integrate the computer output with past experience in order to arrive at the forecast. Some computer forecast models provide information through 48 hours, while other models provide extended forecast information out through 10 days.
Photo of Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS)-forecasters need advanced computer systems to assimilate the thousands of pieces of data available to them. (NOAA/NWS)