Challenge Team Interim Report
School Name:Ruidoso High School
Area of Science: Weather Forecasting
Project Title: Macro-Forecasting
Weather is the one thing that can be counted on, no matter where you are on the planet earth. Most people would consider weather itself totally random, one moment it may be a hot, dry day, the next, it's raining outside! But weather isn't totally random. It has been known to follow patterns from year to year, or every 5 years, or over even longer periods.. That's the one thing that we would like to try and discover. We hope to design a program that will observer weather data from the past, detect patterns in the weather, and then be able to predict when these patterns will reoccur, thus accomplishing a kind of long-range weather forecasting.
Our program would be divided into two major parts. The first part would analyze the weather data and detect patterns in it. The second part would take those patterns and predict when they will occur again. The various patterns in the data would have to be numbered in a specific manner, such as taking a thermal image and assigning each temperature a separate number, thus converting it into something understandable by the program. We would take that data and enter it into the program via an external data file. The program would then catalog different data sets, and detect variations in the air movement, temperature, and other characteristics. The program would do this by looking for reoccurring patterns of certain numbers that represent certain conditions, then recording those patterns for later analysis. For instance, if for 5 years it always rained on a certain day in a certain location, the program would notice this and mark it to be included into the prediction part of the program.
The second section will take all of the patterns that have been found, and calculate when these are likely to reoccur, based on the number of times a certain pattern has been noticed. This may seem rudimentary, but with enough data from a wide period of time, it could be possible to predict when something major is going to occur again. It would not be extremely precise, but it would be accurate. It would not be possible to predict when its going to rain over 3275 Central Street in Brooklyn, New York. It would be possible to predict when there is going to be a cold spell in the Midwest. Weather may seem like a completely random process, but in the end, almost everything repeats itself.
We intend to create a program that will accomplish the task of compiling vast amounts of weather data and searching for patterns in this data. It will then allow a human to see the different weather trends and make decisions about what might happen.