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UNIT 9

TROPICAL METEOROLOGY AND ANALYSIS

FORWARD

The importance of tropical analysis and forecasting has been reemphasized in recent years as U.S. operations in tropical latitudes have increased. The Cuban missile crisis, the Vietnam War, and Nicaraguaís troubled political picture have all triggered a U.S. military presence. Since many Navy weather units are located or operating in the tropics, and others support our forces from afar, it is of the utmost importance that the principles of tropical analysis be understood.

In midLatitudes, migratory weather systems have a major impact on the day-to-day weather, but this is not the case in the tropics. Air masses that enter the tropics are well modified and have little impact. Tropical weather is persistently unchanging in nature, and as one meteorologist says, "Tropical weather is characterized by 345 days of boredom and 20 days of sheer terror." Thatís a bit extreme, but it gives you an idea of the weatherís unchanging nature except for the occasional tropical cyclone that develops into a hurricane or typhoon.

In this unit, we will discuss some general aspects of tropical analysis in lesson 1, analysis procedures for surface and upper-air data in lesson 2, and tropical analysis features in lesson 3.

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