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UNIT 7

SURFACE CHARTS AND THEIR ANALYSIS

FOREWORD

The surface chart, when properly analyzed, is one of the most valuable tools available to the weather briefer, interpreter, and forecaster. This chart is used in virtually every weather briefing and is therefore seen by pilots, ship’s commanding officers, base commanders, and flag ranks. The surface chart, with its colorful highs, lows, and fronts, is appealing, readily understood, and can be related to by almost everyone.

The analyzed surface chart provides the user with a variety of consolidated information that can readily be evaluated. Additionally, the chart is the basis for preparing a three-dimensional model of the atmosphere. When completed, this chart, by itself, will provide a wealth of information about the current synoptic condition, past conditions, and future expectations. When the sur-face chart is used in conjunction with upper air charts and satellite pictures, it becomes an irreplaceable forecasting tool.

Lesson 1 of this unit covers the "Fundamentals of Analysis"; Lesson 2, "Isobaric Analysis"; Lesson 3, "Frontal Analysis"; Lesson 4, "Finalizing the Analysis", and Lesson 5, "Southern Hemisphere Analysis." The unit con-cludes with a practical training exercise in surface chart analysis.

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