surface analysis chart

synoptic chart

A standardized map of the weather that shows the distribution of meteorological conditions over any area at a given time. A synoptic chart shows isobars, fronts, and weather symbols. These normally are drawn at three hourly intervals, usually at 000, 0300, 0600, 0900, 1200, 1500, 1800, and 2100 h GMT (Greenwich mean time). Also called a surface analysis chart.
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The "Synopsis/Surface Analysis" top-bar tab starts with the national Surface Analysis chart. Click on "Supplemental Wx" (lower-right on the chart) to overlay 12-24-36-48-hour Surface Prognosis charts and Radar Summary charts divided into CONUS regions as well as a national CONUS chart.
Additional tools that might help are surface analysis charts, national forecasts, radar/ satellite images (but alone they are insufficient), and local observations.
The surface analysis chart, although informative, can be tossed right away because it reports current conditions, not a forecast.
The surface analysis chart depicts the surface location of the warm front, but the frontal surface reaches ahead with a slope much shallower than a cold front.
Each workshop targets some specific topic and turns up more of those useful weather nuggets, like what a squall line looks like on a Surface Analysis Chart. They're to the point and don't waste your time.
Compare that to where the front shows on the last surface analysis chart at the time the chart was issued, and you'll get a sense of how fast it's really moving relative to places you're planning to go.
The base is a Google-generated map, but you can see airports and weather overlaid for a radius around any point as well as NEXRAD, AIRMETs, SIGMETs, and a Surface Analysis chart for the country.
Look at the dew-point temperatures on a surface analysis chart. A lot of moisture reported (60 degrees F / 16 degrees C) in the summer is fuel for thunderstorms.

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