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Author Topic: Reading a weather map  (Read 2114 times)
LyricFox
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« Topic Start: December 05, 2007, 06:06:31 pm »

I know this sounds stupid, but I'm having a hard time reading the weather maps over on weather.com. I'm cool with the fronts, the high/low pressure systems, but I can't figure out what in the hell the wavy white lines are in the Current Weather Map. Anyone know?

http://www.weather.com/maps/maptype/currentweatherusnational/index_large.html?from=wxcenter_maps
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« Reply #1: December 05, 2007, 06:12:44 pm »



"A surface weather map is just a topographic map of the air distribution. The amount of air at a given place is measured by its pressure, usually in millibars, abbreviated mb. Where there is a lot of air, the pressure is high and the region is called a High. It will look like a mountain on a topographic chart. Where there is a paucity of air, there will be a hole or indentation in the distribution corresponding to a region of low pressure called a Low.

The contour lines of equal pressure — corresponding to elevation lines on a topo map — are called isobars. The usual convention is to draw these lines every 4 mb, and to label them with the last two digits of the pressure. A 1024 mb isobar would be labeled 24. A 980 mb isobar would be marked 80. The central pressure of a High or Low is usually underlined."

That's from something at Ask.com. Those white lines are the isobars. The map you linked to doesn't show the highs and lows numerically, just with H and L, but the isobars are still used.

Any help?
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« Reply #2: December 05, 2007, 06:34:18 pm »

"A surface weather map is just a topographic map of the air distribution. The amount of air at a given place is measured by its pressure, usually in millibars, abbreviated mb. Where there is a lot of air, the pressure is high and the region is called a High. It will look like a mountain on a topographic chart. Where there is a paucity of air, there will be a hole or indentation in the distribution corresponding to a region of low pressure called a Low.

The contour lines of equal pressure — corresponding to elevation lines on a topo map — are called isobars. The usual convention is to draw these lines every 4 mb, and to label them with the last two digits of the pressure. A 1024 mb isobar would be labeled 24. A 980 mb isobar would be marked 80. The central pressure of a High or Low is usually underlined."

That's from something at Ask.com. Those white lines are the isobars. The map you linked to doesn't show the highs and lows numerically, just with H and L, but the isobars are still used.

Any help?


OK. Yeah. that makes sense. I'm trying to figure out why my ears go nuts at certain times. I understand the pressure changing when a front comes through, but the one we're expecting is currently sitting between Texas and Oklahoma (a good 300 miles from me). I have to think the isobars are what I need to look at right now.
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