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Real Time Weather Analysis

UPDATE read the red text below!

Several changes have been made to this page. Many are designed to assist you in completing this assignment successfully. Remember, use your time wisely this period. After today, if you need more time, plan to work in the library after school or at home. RECORD the URL (web site address) to continue your work. As indicated in class, ONE REPORT per group is due upon entry to class on FRIDAY. Good luck and do a thorough job! If you need assistance and have questions, look for me after school OR email me at

NEW: extra credit option, look for it...

In this activity you will visit two different web sites in an effort to assess the current weather pattern. Follow the instructions below and listen for clarification and additional issues raised during class. Read the directions below. There are links to the web pages that you will be using. Once you link to a webpage from here, to get back to this page, use the "back" button in the netscape program. Use the map of the U.S. provided to record features and details requested below.


Lets begin by visiting the AMS Datastreme Website. Click on the highlighted text to get to this site. Once there go to the surface chart section and select "pressures." Use this map of surface pressures to identify the center of all cyclones and anticyclones that can be found within or near the Continental 48 (lower 48 states of the U.S.) Mark the map provided with the appropriate symbols (for the highs and lows.) When done, return to this page for further instructions.

hint: you may wish to visit the "isobars and pressures" link at the AMS site to confirm your locations for the highs and lows.

Next, visit the "US-Data" map on the AMS Datastreme site. Using the data provided and considering the position of the cyclones center in the southeast, draw in the positions of the cold and warm front associated with this cyclone. You may also wish to visit the Virtual Weather Map site and select surface map #1 to see a surface data map with more detail than found on the map at the AMS site.

Return to the AMS site and visit the satellite section. Look at the three satellite images available. Respond to the following:

1. How is each produced? (For assistance here, you may wish to visit the Purdue website and read a brief description about each satellite image. You should scroll down the Purdue Satellite page and look for each description. Additionally, more satellite image info can be found at the WW2010 website. This page is a must visit!)

2. What differences can you detect between the visible and infrared images?

Outline the cloud pattern in the southeast on your map. Then answer the following:

3. Where are the clouds located with respect to each front? (That is: compare the location of each front to the location of the clouds in its vicinity. Your response should discuss this relationship.)

4. What are the conditions like in the warm sector? Be thorough here. (Look at several station reports, compare them and then report in what ways they are similar.)

5. How do conditions in the warm sector differ from the colder region to the west of the cold front? Select two stations and compare their wind direction, temperature, and dew points. Report which stations you selected. If you don't know the name of the cities you selected, describe their position within each state.

6. Are any stations in the Southeast reporting thunderstorms? Where are they located with respect to either front?

7. Which area is most likely to experience thunderstorms today? (You should take a look at a radar report, a link can be found on the virtual weather map site.)

8. Which region is most likely to experience a chilly, steady rain today? (Again, visit a radar map.)

9. Study a current radar map, where is rain falling now? Is most of it falling north or south of the warm front? East or west of the cold front? Describe.

Lets take a look at our region:

10. What is the weather like over much of the mid-atlantic and northeast U.S.?

11. Compare the dew points in the NY/NJ region to those near the Gulf Coast.

12. How close are the nearest clouds in the southeast? Assuming that they are moving towards us, when might our fair weather end? Explain!

To help you assess this, go to the following site: National Radar Image then select "USA Radar Animation" Be patient here, the first link is a java page (slow to load!) and the second creates a several hour animation (also takes some time!) Additionally, you may wish to go to the Purdue Satellite site, then scroll down to Infrared images, look for "Eastern Infrared Image", then look the right and click on "Loop", as you might imagine, this creates a satellite loop. Again, use this to assist you in answering question #12.

Extra Credit:

Write a summary comparing the changes in the weather pattern from yesterday to today across the eastern half of the country. Be sure to address the movement of the cyclone, originally located near Louisiana. You should also address the movement of the fronts, cloud pattern, and changes to our weather over the past 24 hours or so. This should be a detailed summary AND should cite specifics to support the changes that you describe. You can find web sites that enable you to view weather maps for the past 24 hours. One such site can be found at: The Weather Visualizer site. Once there, read the description, you may wish to select "surface obs" then you will have several decisions to make. Explore the potential of this site!

Remember, the more you do here, the more credit you will earn!