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Pre-Reading Questions.

Look at the picture 3.14-3.24 and answer these questions.


1. What do we call this equipment that uses radio waves to
find the position of things and watch their movement?
Suggested answer :Radar.
2. Where can we see it?
Suggested answer : Airport or weather office.
3. What is can be seen in picture 3.16?
Suggested answer : Polar-orbiting satellite.
4. How high does it orbit around the earth?
Suggested answer : About 870 km. high.
5.How long does it take for one orbit?
Suggested answer : It takes approximately 1 hour 42 minutes.
Reading Passage
Now read the given passage below. You can look up the
meaning of the words in bold in the Vocabulary Study
Section that follows.

3.1 Radar
As well as the Windprofiler radars, there is a network of
weather radars that provides a picture of the distribution of
rainfall. From the radar it is possible to work out where it is
raining and how heavy the rain is. The network includes sites
provided by the Republic of Ireland and the States of Jersey
and covers the whole of the British Isles. Extensive radar
information from the continent is also available.

3.2 Satellites
Since the first meteorological satellite was placed in
orbit in 1960, satellites have become essential tools for
weather forecasters. The satellites used by meteorologists fall
into two categories.
Polar-orbiting satellites pass around the earth from pole
to pole at a height of about 870 km. It takes approximately 1
hour 42 minutes for the satellite to complete its orbit, by
which time the earth has rotated by about 25 degrees.
Geostationary satellites remain over the equator,
stationary with respect to the earth. This is achieved by
having the satellite in orbit at a height of about 36,000 km.
At this height it takes exactly 24 hours to complete one orbit,
so it always views the same part of the globe.
Meteosat , the name given to the European geostationary
satellites, like their US, Japanese and Indian counterparts, give
sequences of cloud images. From these, the development and
movement of weather systems can be followed and, of
particular importance, tropical storms can be tracked.
3.3 Analysis
The Global Telecommunication System (GTS) has been set up
to transfer weather observations (and forecasts) around the
world. The Telecommunications Centre at Met Office
Headquarters in Exeter has the role of passing data between
Washington and continental Europe via Paris and Offenbach.
It also collects observations from the UK and transmits them
around the world via the GTS. A complete set of observations
from the UK is available about ten minutes past the hour of
observation.
The observations at a specific time are plotted on a chart
and an analysis is produced by the computer. This involves
isobars (lines of constant pressure) being drawn, which allows
depressions and anticyclones to be identified. The analysis
may be modified by the forecasters and fronts are added (with
the aid of satellite and radar information) in order to
understand what is going on in the atmosphere.
3.4 Forecast
The use of computers has played a key role in
improving the accuracy and detail of weather forecasts, and in
lengthening the period for which useful guidance can be
given. The calculations involved are both numerous and
complex and must be performed quickly so that forecasts are
available in good time. Consequently, some of the most
powerful computers in the world are needed.

3.5 The computer model


Weather forecasts are based on the solution of a set of
mathematical equations describing certain physical processes
in the atmosphere. To solve these complex equations it is first
necessary to divide the atmosphere up into boxes, with a grid
point in the centre of each box. The properties of the
atmosphere are then represented by what is happening at each
of the grid points.
The array of grid points, the system of equations and the
method of solving the equations is referred to as the model.
In the present global model used by the Met Office, there is a
spacing of roughly 40 km between each grid point in the
horizontal. The grid points are also arranged in 50 vertical
levels through the atmosphere.
The computer model produces a global forecast twice a
day using the midnight and midday observations as starting
conditions. In order to provide more-detailed forecast charts
out to 48 hours for the UK and parts of the Atlantic and
Europe, the model is run again at 0600 and 1800 daily.
3.6 Role of the forecaster
Despite greater computer power, improvements to the
computer models, and other technological advances, there is
still an important role for the forecaster . For the general
development of weather systems, the model provides insight
into how the atmosphere is behaving and developing, but it is
only a guide. Good as it is, forecasters have to make
allowances for the model's known problem areas - the
handling of small-scale features, for example. The chief
forecaster on duty modifies the computer output to correct for
likely errors in the model output, such as removing spurious
areas of rainfall. Forecasters also have to take into account
any late observations and consult the latest satellite and radar
pictures.

Vocabulary Study
radar a piece of equipment that uses อุปกรณ์ตรวจจับ
radio waves to find the position วัตถุท่อ
ี ยู่ไกลโดยใช้
of things and watch their วิธีสงู วิทยุคลื่นสั้น
movement
satellite a machine that has been sent ดาวเทียม
into space and goes around the
Earth, moon etc, used for radio,
television, and other electronic
communication
pole the most northern or most ขั้วโลก
southern point on a planet,
especially the Earth
sequence the order that something ลำาดับเหตุการณ์
happens or exists in, or the
order it is supposed to happen
or exist in
transfer to move from one place to โยกย้าย เปลี่ยน
another
plot to mark, calculate, or follow the การกำาหนด จุด
path of an aircraft or ship, for เส้นและวัดมุม
example on a map
equation a statement in mathematics that สมการ
shows that two amounts or
totals are equal
array a set of numbers or signs, or of กลูุม ลำาดับ
computer memory units,
arranged in lines across or down
insight a sudden clear understanding of การเข้าใจอยูาง
something or part of something, ถูองแท้
especially a complicated
situation or idea
chief the most important person, or หัวหน้า
one of the most important
people, in a company or
organization
spurious not based on facts or good ปลอม หลอกลวง
thinking and is likely to be
incorrect

Recalling Information
1.Based from the passage 3.2 when did the first
meteorological satellite launch in the orbit?
Suggested answer : In 1960.
2. Can radar pictures used by the Environment Agency for
river management and flood warnings?
Suggested answer : Yes.
3. Based from the passage 3.2 which imaginary line that
Geostationary satellites, stationary with respect to the earth
remain over?
Suggested answer : The equator.
4. How high is it from the earth?
Suggested answer : At a height of about 36,000 km.
5. How long does it take for an orbit around the earth?
Suggested answer : At this height it takes exactly 24 hours to
complete one orbit.
6. Based from the passage 3.4 the use of computers has
played a key role in improving the accuracy and detail of
weather forecasts. What is the underlined word means?
Suggested answer : Correctness.
7. The computer model produces a global forecast twice a day
using the midnight and midday observations as starting
conditions. What is the underlined word means?
Suggested answer : Two times.
8. Not only greater computer power, improvements to the
computer models, and other technological advances, there is
still an important role for the man who control, calculate and
forecast the weather . Who is he?
Suggested answer : The weather forecaster.