Chapter 1
Introduction


Two major advances have been made in the understanding of weather processes in this century. The first was the emphasis on the importance of frontal systems by J. Bjerknes in 1922; the second was the advent of weather satellite information in the 1960's. Using fronts gave a global unity to weather forecasting; while the satellite pictures gave a global unity to the understanding of what was happening over the globe at the time the photograph was taken. The satellites do not give a forecast, but they do give a correct picture so that the forecaster has the right information. With the right information and a lot of work, a weather forecast can be made. There have been many relatively smaller discoveries, partly explaining tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning, rain drops, etc. All of these developments have led to a weather forecast capability that is far better than pure chance, but still (disappointingly) not fully reliable.

What do we have to do to make a successful weather forecast? There are three major steps that must be completed:

  1. An accurate weather map must be drawn to show the weather conditions at the time the forecast is being prepared. Fortunately, this step is quite reliable, thanks to the National Weather Service, especially since the availability of satellite weather photos. So, this first step is not a serious problem at the present time.
  2. A forecast map must be prepared showing the high pressure centers, the low pressure centers, and the patterns of the isobars or winds, at a given time in the future. This time can be 24 hours, 48 hours, one week, or as desired. This second step of the forecast procedure is the most difficult and is the cause of most poor forecasts. Here, precisely, is where the explanation given by Singer's Lock is of immense value.

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  1. The consequences of the second step must be correctly forecast. A decision must be made as to how strong the wind might be, how high or low the temperature, how much rain, how much cloud cover, and when all this might happen. This third step is an entirely different ball-game, and errors can be made, even if the positions of the lows and highs are predicted accurately. The author makes no claim of any special expertise in forecasting these consequences.
  2. How Using Singerís Lock will give improved actual weather forecasts.

    When the national weather services make an accurate forecast of the centers of highs and lows they are very good (not perfect) in forecasting the actual weather. However, using Singerís Lock instead of the numerical equations to forecast pressure centers is superior in accuracy. Anytime that a pressure center is forecast with superior precision you wonít need special expertise to forecast the weather. since when the forecast position is missed--the forecasted weather will be totally useless.

    Forecasting weather depends on the skill of the forecaster who relies on EVERYTHING he/she knows about weather. Ignorance of the type of configurations shown in this book will result in the forecaster being ďblind-sidedĒ as to vortex interactions--which will inevitably affect the quality of any actual forecast for wind, rain, tornadoes, clouds, fog, dust devils, etc.

    Above all --the forecasting of the positions of highs and lows can be done with an ordinary PC computer using the formulas of Singerís Lock. Using an ordinary PC computer is thousands of times less costly than using the most expensive computer in the world .

Part of the reason for some unhappy weather forecasts has been the lack of a unified hemispheric explanation of how each individual low and high sends out an interference that disturbs other lows and highs in the hemisphere. It is obvious that every movement of every low and high must be counterbalanced somewhere else on the Earth by an equivalent movement (since the total mass of air over the globe is almost constant for practical purposes). There have been attempts made to give a unified hemispheric explanation to weather patterns, but these have been statistical in nature. Many studies have shown, that on the average, certain weather patterns are likely to occur over a hemisphere. Statistics, while useful and valuable for many purposes, have been given so much prominence (especially since the advent of the computer) that the physics as to what is really happening is obscured. There are a surfeit of studies in the meteorological literature showing a spectral analysis of patterns for a whole week, a whole month, a whole year, etc.--but not a single analysis has ever been made, showing the relationships between all highs and lows over the hemisphere at a given moment in time.

Let us analyze why a unified hemispheric (or global) explanation of how "the weather really works" has been shrouded in mystery for so long. There are a cluster of "mini-problems" that have to be solved before we can even come to grips with the actual movement of storm centers. These "mini-problems" are both scientific and political in nature. At this point we will only consider the scientific problems, and leave the last chapter of the book to touch on some of the political problems.

Let us divide the scientific problems into three parts:

  1. What forces cause the movements of all highs and lows over a hemisphere?
  2. What is known about the geometry of a sphere? The surface of the spherical Earth is the play-ground of the forces mentioned in 1. above. We may have a hard time understanding how these forces behave if we don't understand the three-dimensional nature and mathematics of a sphere.

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  1. Do we understand what using a flat weather map of a round world does to our neat little formulas about a sphere, and the forces that act on the surface of a sphere? The polar stereographic map (used by all weather services) is the best possible flat map to be used for weather analysis and forecasting. Nevertheless, any way that you may look at it, or hold it, you will not actually see a round sphere. How could you hope to recognize any useful hemispheric patterns with a goofy map?

In the following pages we will take a good look at some important geometric principles of a sphere, and then we'll take a hard look at the polar stereographic map. This will set the stage for understanding the various configurations that are present on every single weather map. It will be possible to use and understand the various patterns (that will be shown later in the book) without knowing the geometric principles of a sphere or even how the map works. Lack of this mathematical knowledge, however, will leave you wondering and guessing how some of the results occurred on a flat map of a round world.

If you hang on through the earlier parts of this book, you will find the later parts more interesting. Even if you're an experienced mathematician, this " simple" geometry may have certain twists to it that you may not have noticed previously, or at any rate, you may not have seen any direct connection with meteorology, heretofore.

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Copyright © 1996 by Singer Press