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# What is a Synoptic Weather Map?

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What is a Synoptic Weather Map?
Station Models and Converting Station Pressure into Millibars

Synoptic Weather Maps Synoptic weather maps: Show atmospheric quantities like temp, air pressure and precip. at a particular time and over a large geographic area- used to make weather predictions

Why?- Do Not Write Station models and pressure are key components for making an accurate forecast -For example, if you are making a forecast for the New York Yankees and you say, “There is a 20% chance of rain” but it is already raining, you probably won’t be forecasting for the New York Yankees for much longer! At least 1 question on the Regents is about station models and at least one question on the Regents asks you to convert station model data to millibars

Station Models Used on weather maps to show the current weather conditions for a particular location

Page 13 of your Reference Tables

Cloud Cover and Winds The circle at the center shows the amount of cloud cover The “flag pole” coming out of the circle shows the direction that the wind is coming from

Each “feather” shows approximate wind speed
Each “feather” shows approximate wind speed. A half feather shows an approx. 5 knot wind, and a whole feather shows an approx. 10 knot wind *Add up the amount for each flag for the total wind speed

1 knot = 1.15 mi/hr

Determining Air Pressure
Air pressure is shown by using the last 3 digits of the pressure in millibars (coded) Ex mb = 186 on the station model

To determine the air pressure from the numbers on the station model, use the following rule:
If the first number is 5 or less, put a 10 in front of it

If the first number is 6 or higher, put a 9 in front of it
Put the decimal point between the last two numbers Add “mb” at the end for units

Example The air pressure on a station model is 892. What is the pressure in millibars? ASK YOURSELF…. Is the first number 5 or less? After you add the number in front of 892, where does the decimal go?

**Remember, surface air pressure is usually between 960mb – 1050mb
If your answer is not in this range, then it is wrong. Check your work!

Another Example What is the pressure of this station in millibars?

Practice with Station Models
Take two minutes to use your Reference Tables and the information below, draw the station model of Slate Hill. Compare your answer with your neighbor.

Slate Hill Observations: Cloudy, 61. F, 58. DP, 8
Slate Hill Observations: Cloudy, 61*F, 58* DP, 8.0 mile visibility, pressure is mb, wind speed 9 mph, from SW.

Your station model should look something like this…

How about decoding station models?
Take the next few minutes to write down the weather information that is given by the station model.

You should be able to answer the following questions: What is the temperature? What is the dewpoint? What is the pressure in millibars? How much precipitation fell in the past 6 hours? What is the visibility? What is the present weather?

Example Regents Questions
1. A weather station model is shown below. What is the barometric pressure indicated by this station model? (1) mb (2) mb (3) mb (4) mb

2. Which station model shows the correct form for indicating a northwest wind at 25 knots and an air pressure of mb?

RADAR Radar: reflects radio electromagnetic energy off the aerosols of precipitation and clouds. Radar provides a tool accurate short-range prediction, showing precipitation intensity, precipitation type, and where it is heading.

AccuWeather Radar

Review of How to Interpret Weather Station Data
What is the temperature of each station? What is the dew point of each station? What is the wind direction of the stations? Which station model has higher pressure and why?

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