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July-August 2013

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Forecast Center

In this issue, we introduce something radically different, but something that is a staple of forecast offices in tropical latitudes. As devoted readers may remember, all of the Forecast Center maps over the past several years have been analyzed using isobars, or lines of equal pressure. In this issue, we will ignore the pressure and focus on the wind flow. Why? This will be explained in the solution. But one clear advantage is that we don't need to look at hundreds of numbers plotted all over the map. We just look at the wind barbs to decide where a line goes and how to fit it best. On the other hand, this kind of puzzle is likely to be very new for some readers. But don't let that stop you—let's dig in!

TIM VASQUEZ is a former Air Force forecaster and author of Digital Atmosphere, a weather forecasting software program. He lives near Norman, Oklahoma, where he keeps busy as a weather consultant and software developer.

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