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March-April 2009

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Forecast Center

With an abundance of polar air masses, warm ocean temperatures, and a jet stream at its most southward seasonal position, January is full of meteorological action in the United States. In this puzzle readers will find cold fronts, warm fronts, occluded fronts, and several low and high pressure areas. The chinook wind also makes a special guest appearance in the northern Great Plains. Can you find these weather features?

This weather map is an event during the midday hours of January. Draw isobars every 4 millibars (996, 1000, 1004 mb, etc.) using the plot model example at the lower right as a guide. As the plot model indicates, the actual millibar value for plotted pressure (xxx) is 10xx.x mb when the number shown is below 500, and 9xx.x when it is more than 500. For instance, 027 represents 1002.7 mb, and 892 represents 989.2 mb. Therefore, when one station reports 074 and a nearby one shows 086, the 1008 mb isobar will be found halfway between the stations. Then try to find the locations of fronts, highs, and lows.

For further information, along with helpful hints and advice, visit

The solution appears on page 66.

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