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Meteorological instruments are scientific instruments used in the study of weather. Studying the weather requires the use of equipment that can measure things like wind direction, humidity, atmospheric pressure, solar radiation, rainfall, temperature, wind speed, evaporation rate, and so forth. Other instruments assist people with visible observations, such as studying clouds and storm systems, recording visual data that can be perused or studied later and compared against other visual data from different locations and times.
These specialized scientific instruments are often made by companies that focus on just this type of equipment. These companies constantly conduct research to refine and improve their products, and to find new measuring methods that may be helpful for scientists. Meteorologists can order instruments through supplier catalogs or individual companies, and may sometimes work on the development of specialized custom instruments for particular applications. Customized equipment may be used for special weather investigations, including the study of weather on other planets, which can require some very unique devices.
For a weather station where scientists take continuous readings and observations, some meteorological instruments might include the following:
Meteorologists also launch satellites to make weather observations from space, classically to record the movement of clouds and storm systems. They also use tools like weather balloons and radiosondes to make weather observations in the Earth's atmosphere. These devices include instrument packages that can take an assortment of measurements and either beam them back to a weather station or store them so that they can be access when the device is collected.
Some instruments used in meteorology are very old, while others are more recent inventions. Like other scientific instruments, meteorological equipment needs to be kept in good condition to take accurate measurements. Because it is exposed to the weather, special care must be taken to keep it clean and properly calibrated. Failure to maintain instruments can result in faulty readings, which would skew or compromise the data being collected. Instrument companies will often take them back for recalibration and repair by arrangement.
Back in the days of the Vietnam War, my cousin was in the U.S.Army and was stationed at a missile range. He worked as a weather specialist. His job was to take measurements of weather conditions like wind direction and speed, storms warnings, and temperature. He also sent up weather balloons to get information. He liked that part. They used this weather information to decide when to test missiles.
He had to study meteorology and learn how to use the instruments for measurement of weather conditions.
He was in this place for about a year and then was sent to Vietnam, where he did the same work.
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