A Guide to the Internet, Modern Forecasting, and Weather Technology
Author: Tim Vasquez
The science of forecasting has not changed, but the Internet and new marvels of technology have completely redefined the process. It s not a rare thing for weather hobbyists and National Weather Service forecasters to get a product from the very same site. With more and more charts and tools appearing on the Internet by the week, how do you make sense of the avalanche of weather imagery and data? Using a double-page format, the Weather Map Handbook demonstrates nearly every type of weather map, image, and product in common use. An overview of each item s origin, purpose, shortfalls, and tips are outlined. Standards for analysis symbology and chart markings are summarized. The surface, 850 mb, 700 mb, 500 mb, and 300-200 mb charts get two pages each, complete with philosophy, objectives, and techniques for each chart. Thickness, isentropic, and Q vector products get their own sections. The WSR-88D doppler radar, in use by the United States weather services, has played a vast part in the weather information revolution. In the Weather Map Handbook, it gets thirty pages packed with the fundamentals and algorithms of the WSR-88D. Much of this information is obscure and nearly impossible to find. From the workings of the Composite Reflectivity product to the exact process used by the Mesocyclone Detection Algorithm to deconstruct a radar scan, any NEXRAD radar product on the Internet can be understood. From the WRF to the NGM, from the GFS to the GEM, each numerical forecast model is revealed in incredible detail. Ensemble forecasts are highlighted. The satellite chapter explains visible, infrared, and water vapor imagery, how it is created, and how to interpret it. Even the METAR, TAF, SYNOP, and radiosonde formats get their own sections, complete with decoding instructions. Topping off the book is an appendix with surface and upper-level station plot models, a vast technical glossary compiled from the depths of the NWS, SPC, and NCEP, and much more! Whether you re a hobbyist, private forecaster, a professional, or a student, the Weather Map Handbook is the book you can t be without.