Upper Air Map Identification

Upper Air analysis is another important part of being a meteorologist and understanding how to read these maps is very important to our daily job. The above image is a 300mb chart that means this is the winds and temps at about 30,000ft above the ground.

The first feature is over Western California. The darker blue shading is a jet maximum. What this means is that the winds are very strong over that region. It is possible for airplanes that are flying at that height to encounter turbulence.

Looking at the weather map over Georgia you notice a -35 dotted green line. This is called and isotherm which stands for lines of equal temperature. -35C tells us how cold it is at 30,000ft above the area in Georgia. The temperature can be used for many things such as identifying areas of cold air advection or warm air advection.

A third feature to look at is the solid blue lines. These are outlining areas of the same wind speeds. So if you look at Idaho and then over in Iowa you see that the same line runs through both places meaning that the winds are the same strength through those regions.