Radar and Satellites
Although there really is no substitute for a personal look at the weather by an observer, those eyes can't be everywhere. Weather goes on across the entire world, over vast bodies of water and across sparsely settled lands. It's important to know if a storm is brewing in these distant areas. In the computer age, that data becomes vital input. A day doesn't go by without us realizing that the slightest disturbance, even that generated by the proverbial flapping of a butterfly's wings could impact the weather in some distant place. Energy is transmitted through all scales and cascades like falling dominoes. The advances in technology of the second half of the twentieth century brought meteorology from the Balloon Age into the Space Age.
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Weather © 2002 by Mel Goldstein, Ph.D.. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.