How to Understand a Weather Report

When you watch the weather reports on TV, the weather presenter will discuss the predicted weather for the next few days. They do so with a weather map that includes various symbols. However, there can be quite a bit of meteorological jargon associated with these maps and forecasts which may confuse.

To begin with, the weather symbols are in fact fairly straightforward. Scattered across the weather report are suns, clouds, and rain clouds. If there is a Sun symbol close to your location you can expect it to be sunny for that particular day. However, if there are rain clouds it will be the opposite. Clouds are dry days with little sunshine. These are the basic symbols that match weather forecasts to particular areas, but there is in fact quite a bit more to an average weather report.

Weather reports will also discuss temperatures which will indicate how warm or cold the day is to be. These figures can either be in degrees Celsius or degrees Fahrenheit, and these may vary with different national forecasts. Such figures usually have color coded squares or circles with orange for high temperatures, and blue for very low temperatures. To covert there are calculators , which will provide the alternative figure in either Fahrenheit or Celsius.

Aside from this, weather reports will also discuss cold fronts and warm weather fronts. So, what is the difference? This is a reference to high pressure and low pressure weather systems. High pressure weather systems are associated with warmer and dryer weather conditions, while low pressure weather systems are cooler and wetter fronts. For these, there are blue lines for cold fronts, and red lines for warm fronts.

Weather reports also predict wind speed and direction. The symbols for wind usually have a number in a circle with an arrow. The number within the circle highlights what the expected wind speed will be. Knots is the wind scale, and the higher the figure, the more windy it will be. The arrow that is included is a prediction for the expected wind direction.

Here is one good example of a weather map. This weather map does not include any temperature figures, or wind indicators, but heck who needs them? After all, there is sunshine all over the map and so a warm day is predicted. Note also that the weather map has H and L on it which stand for high and low pressure, along with blue and red isobars to indicate cold and warm fronts. In this example, the fronts are actually quite mixed.

Although alternative weather websites do not always include maps, consider this example, which displays the relevant symbols for a particular destination. The location is input and then a relevant report displayed. The report includes most of the relevant details and symbols expected for forecasts.

So, weather reports not only predict general conditions, but temperature, wind, and warm or cold weather fronts. These are displayed on maps and reports with the symbols and figures mentioned.  For a weather forecast, this website is recommended.