Weather Map Identification

It is very important to understand what you are looking at when working with weather maps.

In the image above we are looking at surface wind barbs. Surface wind barbs help us to identify which direction the wind is blowing and also the speed of the wind. If we look in the Northern Gulf of Mexico just to the south of Mississippi we see a wind barb in blue. This wind barb is from the East and it has two full wind barbs which tells us the wind is from the East at 20kts.

If you look along the East Coast of the United States we can see many areas that have purple circles. This tells us that the area has calm winds.

Also by using the surface wind chart we can see the flow of the air around our pressure systems. We would have a high pressure in the Southeast under all the calm winds. We can also identify where our fronts are. Looking at the winds in Southern Minnesota we see that the wind direction is Southwesterly while just back to the west in the Dakotas we see the wind direction is from the Northwest. This is a key indicator of a cold front.