How do we Read Station Models?

As we have learned through this unit, what we experience as weather is an incredibly complex interaction of many different variables.  We have also looked at many different types of weather maps that show different information.  To simply weather data that can be displayed on one map meteorologists use station models.

Station models are symbols surrounded by numbers that are used to convey a huge amount of information in a small space.

Each symbol and number on the station model goes in a specific standard place so that they can be read easily.  The following key can be found in your ESRT and used to decipher station models accurately:

Station Model Pressures

The only confusing part of the station model is the air pressure value.  

The number in the top right of the station model diagram is NEVER THE REAL AIR PRESSURE.  It is a code that meteorologists use to represent the air pressure.  

To use a station model to find the real air pressure we do the following:

If the number is MORE THAN 500...

  • Add a 9 to the front
  • Add a decimal point before the last number

For example:

in the station model to the right the pressure code is 987 which is more than 500 so...

We add a 9 to the front = 9987

Then we add a decimal before the last number = 998.7

 

If the number is LESS THAN 500...

  • Add a 10 to the front
  • Add a decimal point before the last number

For example:

In the station model to the right the pressure code= 023 which is less than 500 so...

We add a 10 to the front = 10023

Then we add a decimal before the last number = 1002.3