Weather forecasting is use of science and technology to predict the state of the atmosphere for a future time and a given location. Human beings have attempted to predict the weather informally for centuries, and formally since at least the nineteenth century. Astronomical and weather prediction publication The Old Farmer's Almanac, for example, was first published in 1792 during George Washington's first term as president.
Weather forecasts are made by collecting quantitative data about the current state of the atmosphere and using scientific understanding of atmospheric processes to project how the atmosphere will evolve. Current modern weather forecasting involves a combination of computer models, observation, and a knowledge of trends and patterns. Using these methods, reasonably accurate forecasts can be made up to about five days in advance. Beyond that, detailed forecasts are less useful, since atmospheric conditions such as temperature and wind direction are very complex.
Most of the computer models used for forecasting are run by the National Weather Service, which creates forecast models based on complex formulas. These models are used by many different weather and news services in preparing daily forecasts. Local weather observers, balloons, satellites, and weather stations also help provide data for forecasts.
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