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May-June 2017

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Forecast Center

How are your springtime analysis skills? In this issue we'll take a look at an example of the weather behind a powerful low pressure system, and a developing front in the Rocky Mountain region. We'll also show you a bit of what an “open Gulf” pattern is and what it means for storm forecasting. Good luck!

This weather map depicts conditions in March during the midday hours. Draw isobars every four millibars (996, 1000, 1004 millibars, 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 millibars and 892 represents 989.2 millibars. Therefore, when one station reports 074 and a nearby one shows 086, the 1008 millibar isobar will be found halfway between the stations. Then try to find the locations of fronts, highs, and lows.

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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