Click on the image below to head over to my site to check out the rest of my blog and PowerPoint slides. Also, like my previous blog and the one on my Word Press site, you can check out some background information about the Upper Air, Temperatures, and Precipitation.
Background Information - Upper Air, Temperatures, and Precipitation
- Upper Air Maps: I like to use 500mb maps. I like to think of it as looking at the provide a big picture view of what happening upstairs in the atmosphere. The average 500mb plot allowed me to draw the jet stream, which typically can be found on the 300mb or 250mb map. Here we can roughly see ridges and troughs. When I mention ridges, think of the high pressure at the surface (i.e., height lines increasing), while troughs are low pressure at the surface (i.e., you see the height lines dip). Troughs are typically associated with stormy weather, while ridges are the opposite, drier and stable. The 500mb anomaly maps is comparing the current analyses to climatology. So, the way to think of anomaly maps, its more of a signal such as where ridges and troughs are developing stronger compared to climatology. For these maps, we'll look at the past 30 days to how the Fall Pattern has developed.
- Temperatures: I like to take a look at how temperatures compared to climatology, so I like to use anomaly maps. The type of anomaly maps are average temperature. You can quickly get a sense of who's running below or above average in temperatures.
- Precipitation Totals: Same as temperatures. I like to look at precipitation anomaly maps. You can get a sense what parts of the US has been very dry or wet. Also, you can get a sense who is likely to have flooding problems.
So, as you can see, this is a very basic look at how our weather pattern has been in the past. For many folks who like to look at the weather models, its always important to understand whats been happening and sit back and think. So, when you look at those model runs, are what they showing you for a certain big event make sense.