In this issue of Weatherwise, we'll head to a rather unusual analysis location, but one that is the source of the great majority of weather systems that traverse the United States during the fall months: the Pacific Ocean. Many weather maps that we see on a day-to-day basis end at the coastline. But, being familiar with how to interpret and recognize weather systems out in the oceans is an important skill for forecasters. For those who forecast for places like Seattle, Washington, and San Francisco, California, this skill is about as important as navigation is to an airline pilot.
This weather map depicts conditions in September during the daytime hours. Draw isobars every four millibars (996, 1000, 1004 mb, etc.) using the plot model example at the lower right as a guide.
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.