Science: Weather Analysis

Air-mass analysis is the biggest thing in modern weather forecasting. Weather is a three-dimensional phenomenon, so instead of confining itself to surface observations, air-mass analysis gets off the ground. Its practitioners take temperature, pressure and humidity recordings in the upper air, so that they can study the movements and interactions of tropical masses (warm, wet) and polar masses (cold, dry)—gliding, tonguelike bodies sometimes five or six miles thick. U. S. analysts now send up small, cheap, hydrogen-filled balloons carrying radiometeoro-graphs or "radiosondes"—small, compact recorders which automatically transmit data to the ground by...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!