Why do we need a weather map?

What the Eye’s See

A weather map is used to show differences in temperature, show what weather anomalies are happening and to help with forecasting.  What if a meteorologist just told you about the weather?  It wouldn’t help with understanding what is happening with the weather.  People need a visual to help with understanding.  Therefore, we have a weather map.

Have you ever watched the weather news and wondered ‘what in the world do those symbols mean?’  It sure is a lot easier when they just put a sunshine, storms or tornadoes on the map.  At least those are simple.

Some Symbols on a map

H = higher air pressure…warm sunny days, air is moving in a clockwise fashion away from the high pressure

L= lower air pressure…cloudy stormy days…air is moving in a counter-clockwise fashion towards the lower air pressure

Blue lines with the points…are the cold front…the points show the direction the air is moving

Red lines with the rounded symbols…the warm front…the rounded symbols show the direction of the warm air.

If the line has both blue pointed and red rounded lines…This is a stationary front.  It means that both types of air masses are present but neither are moving

A purple line with the round and pointed symbols means…an occluded front…means the low-pressure system is beginning to fade away

What is a Jet Stream?

diagram of jet stream

Source: From Study.com Jet Stream Diagram

Sometimes a weather map will show all sorts of lines that are called jet streams.  Jet streams come from different cells of rotating air that are on the earth about 10 km above the earth…the cells are a narrow band of strong air currents surrounding the globe.  It shows how fast the wind is blowing and which direction.  This is good to know especially if traveling.

Fun Print off

Reading a weather map is something that will help us understand what is happening around us.  Knowing the symbols is part of the fun of learning about weather.  Here is a map from Flickr with symbols originally made from WeatherEgg.  Have fun printing it and making your own weather map. Weather map and symbols made by Machelle

Image Resource: Featured Image Source http://www.crh.noaa.gov/Image/lmk/soo/Radar_Web_Images/https://study.com/academy/lesson/jet-streams-the-polar-front.htmlhttps://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/noaa/noaa_archive.php?month=12&day=21&year=2017&format=gif&lang=english&cycle=12&reset=no

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