BIS Students visit the Lagos Meteorological Centre

Report on Trip to Meteorological Centre by Ekunremi Oyekan Year 10

Meteorology is the study of the atmosphere and everything that affects it. Also known as "physics of the atmosphere".  When we got to the centre, we were greeted by a man who later took us around the campus. In order to take measurements of how strong the wind was and how to take observations, we were told that, a device was attached to a balloon, after letting the balloon go,  the measurements were then sent to a system.  Signals can be used to tell you what the weather would be like.  The measurements or observations taken are used for forecasts too.

There was a section in which agriculture and how it is affected by the atmosphere is studied.  There are thermometers put into the soil at different depths (Eg, 5ft, 10 ft etc.), these thermometers are used to measure the temperature. This helps in agriculture because the farmers are able to know whether the soil will be too hot to grow crops (so the seeds don't "bake" or the enzymes in the seeds don't get denatured).

We were shown a "Stevenson's Screen". It is used to shield the instruments from precipitation or direct heat radiating from the sun.  The sun is in the southern hemisphere, so we weren't able to open the instruments facing the southern hemisphere in order not to damage them or affect the readings that were taken. The Screen is used to measure the temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure. There's a maximum and minimum thermometer in the Stevenson's Screen. It isn't placed on the ground as this can affect its readings and to also prevent rain water from splashing on the instruments. Slits are on the screen to allow air in.

"Wind Van" is the name of another instrument used to measure the wind distance, it can also be observed to tell which direction the wind is coming from. All measurements taken by these instruments are sent to monitors.

"Optical Theodolite" was used to observe the movements of a balloon as it was let into the air and ascended. The instrument is a microscope and it was able to rotate. After, the measurements were taken, on the computer.

"Anemometer" is used to measure the wind speed and also wind pressure, two or three "cup-like" objects move according to the speed of wind.

There was an object that looked like a crystal ball, it receives sunlight.  After the sunlight is refracted, it falls on either the summer or winter card. You could tell how much the sun shone by looking at the cards, we looked at the marks on the cards. We were told the sunlight scorched the card due to how much sunlight was refracted by the ball.

This trip was a very educative, productive and interesting experience. It was a great day.

Remi Oyekan.