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Weather forecasting. EG1204 Earth Systems Dr Jonathan Lageard. Weather. ‘Overall state of the atmosphere on a time-scale of minutes to months’ Thomas & Goudie, 2000 p527 Weather describes specific conditions rain, temperatures, dew-point, wind speed and direction, visibility…

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weather forecasting

Weather forecasting

EG1204 Earth Systems

Dr Jonathan Lageard

  • ‘Overall state of the atmosphere on a time-scale of minutes to months’ Thomas & Goudie, 2000 p527
  • Weather describes specific conditions rain, temperatures, dew-point, wind speed and direction, visibility…

Weather forecasting

  • ‘The science of predicting the future state of the atmosphere from very short periods of less than one hour up to 7-10 days ahead’ Thomas & Goudie, 2000 p527
  • Climatic regions / climate graphs
  • Mid-latitude weather (UK)
  • Weather monitoring / forecasting
  • Weather & climate practical

Hadley cell regimeThompson 1998, p

Holden 2005, p30

Global rainfall patterns Holden, 2005 p39

Global temperature patterns (Jan) Barry & Chorley 2003 p43


Climate graphs

Landes-Pyrenees Properties, 2007

London climate graph

Cool Antarctica, 2007


Weather maps

Stirling, 1997 p25

Synoptic weather chart, Met Office 2000

Air Ministry 1941. The Weather Map. London, HMSO


Weather systems

Stirling, 1997 p28


Aerospace Technology, 2007


Air masses: Source regions



Mid-latitude weather (UK)

Model of N hemisphere atmospheric circulation Thompson 1998 p107 based on Hanwell 1980


Depressions (cyclonic systems)

b) plan form / synoptic chart

a) cross-sectional model

Mature: Pressure falls warm air rises in warm sector winds inward blowing anticlockwise Coriolis force


Embryo: Tm & Pm air mix warm air less dense rises in spiral Low Pressure

Decay: Cold front catches warm front = Occlusion


Weather associated with the passage of a depression

Cloud patterns associated with a depression Thompson, 1998 p151

Waugh 1995, p215


Depression tracks (courses) Stirling, 1997 p30

North Sea storm surge 31st January to 1st February 1953


coastal areas UK, Belgium & Netherlands

Economic damage and community disruption

2,000+ people died across the three countries.

Jonkman SN & Kelman I, 2005



Stirling, 1997 p28

Large masses of subsiding warm dry air (settled weather)

winds outward-blowing, clockwise

Associated weather

Summer: hot days (heatwave), rapidly cooling night, land-sea breezes, temperature inversions

Winter: similar, but cold / snow, fog / frost


Weather forecasting: tools / data

Met Office, 2007

Met station, Muckross House, Killarney NP


Met Office, 2007

Satellite images

UK observations regional map (Met Office, 2007)


‘We interrupt TMS to bring you the following gale warning issued by the Met office at 17.25 GMT Wedesday 14th March…’

Met Office, 2007

directed reading
Directed reading:
  • Mountain weather / local climates – Holden 2005 pp80-96
  • UK weather system variants Met Office 2007 – Learning – Weather resources – Higher - weather systems
  • Hurricanes (storm of 1987 – Met Office, 2007, Barry & Chorley 2003 pp269-275)
suggested reading
Suggested reading
  • Barry RG & Chorley RJ 2003. Atmosphere, Weather and Climate (8th Edition). London, Routledge.
  • Earth Science and Geography, Keele University 2007. The Weather at Keele (Keele Weather station). (accessed 13.3.07)
  • Holden J (Ed) 2005. An Introduction to Physical Geography and the Environment. Harlow, Pearson. (Atmospheric processes, global climates, local & regional climates pp27-96).
  • Met Office 2007. Met Office homepage. (accessed 12.3.07) Folllow links to Learning – Weather resources - Higher
  • O’Hare G, Sweeney J & Wilby R 2005. Weather, Climate and Climate Change. Harlow, Pearson.
  • Stirling R 1997. The Weather of Britain. Routledge.
  • Thomas DSG and Goudie A 2000. The Dictionary of Physical Geography. Oxford, Blackwell.
  • Thompson RD 1998. Atmospheric Processes and Systems. London, Routledge.