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Why are weather forecasts sometimes inaccurate?
Air pressure, temperature, mountain ranges, ocean currents and many other factors combine to produce an enormous quantity of interacting variables all of which can alter the weather to a greater or lesser extent. However, greater understanding of the science, plus the use of powerful computer models, continue to improve our ability to make more accurate predictions with longer lead times.
Why is it that developing nations always seem to suffer most during extreme weather events?
Every year, natural disasters affect many communities around the world, leading to the loss of lives, the destruction of social and economic infrastructure and the degradation of already fragile ecosystems. Such hazards are inevitable and can threaten everyone, but they tend to hit communities in developing and least developed countries the hardest, increasing their vulnerability and setting back their economic and social goals, sometimes by decades.
While economic losses in dollars for developing countries are lower than those for developed countries, impact (as a percentage of GDP) is often much higher. Many developing nations lie in tropical zones where extreme weather events such as tropical cyclones, droughts and flooding are more frequent than in other regions. Developing nations possess limited facilities and qualified human resources to monitor and predict these phenomena and provide warnings to all sectors of the population. Addressing this challenge is a major concern for WMO.
How can I become a meteorologist?
Meteorology requires knowledge of higher mathematics, physics and chemistry as well as good computer proficiency. The basic requirement for becoming a Meteorologist is a BSc degree in Meteorology or Atmospheric Sciences. Another option is to first get a BSc in Mathematics, Physical Sciences or Engineering and then follow courses in Meteorology. Teaching, research or management positions usually require higher degrees. Meteorological technicians, who may not possess an academic degree, generally undertake the responsibility of collecting and reporting observational weather data. Their qualification is normally obtained through completion of technical-level courses of a varying duration (between a few months a nd 1-2 years) depending on the envisaged work.