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Article:Surface weather analysis
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Surface weather analyses have special symbols that show frontal systems, cloud cover, [[Precipitation (meteorology)|precipitation]], or other important information. For example, an ''H'' may represent [[high-pressure area|high pressure]], implying good and fair weather. An ''L'' on the other hand may represent [[low pressure]], which frequently accompanies precipitation. Various symbols are used not just for frontal zones and other surface boundaries on weather maps, but also to depict the present weather at various locations on the weather map. Areas of precipitation help determine the frontal type and location.
 
Surface weather analyses have special symbols that show frontal systems, cloud cover, [[Precipitation (meteorology)|precipitation]], or other important information. For example, an ''H'' may represent [[high-pressure area|high pressure]], implying good and fair weather. An ''L'' on the other hand may represent [[low pressure]], which frequently accompanies precipitation. Various symbols are used not just for frontal zones and other surface boundaries on weather maps, but also to depict the present weather at various locations on the weather map. Areas of precipitation help determine the frontal type and location.
   
== History of surface analysis ==
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{{see also|History of surface weather analysis}}
 
[[Image:10 PM March 12 surface analysis of Great Blizzard of 1888.gif|thumb|upright|Surface analysis of [[Great Blizzard of 1888]] on March 12, 1888 at 10 pm]]
 
 
The use of weather charts in a modern sense began in the middle portion of the 19th century in order to devise a theory on storm systems.<ref>Human Intelligence.[http://www.indiana.edu/~intell/galton.shtml Francis Galton.] Retrieved on 2007-04-18.</ref> The development of a [[telegraph]] network by 1845 made it possible to gather weather information from multiple distant locations quickly enough to preserve its value for real-time applications. The Smithsonian Institution developed its network of observers over much of the central and eastern United States between the 1840s and 1860s once Joseph Henry took the helm.<ref>Frank Rives Millikan. Smithsonian Institution. [http://www.si.edu/archives/ihd/jhp/joseph03.htm Joseph Henry: Father of the Weather Service.] Retrieved on 2006-10-22. {{Wayback|url=http://www.si.edu/archives/ihd/jhp/joseph03.htm|date =20061020020548|bot=DASHBot}}</ref> The [[U.S. Army Signal Corps]] inherited this network between 1870 and 1874 by an act of Congress, and expanded it to the west coast soon afterwards.
 
 
At first, all the data on the map was not taken from these analyses because of a lack of time standardization. The first attempts at time standardization took hold in Great Britain by 1855. The entire United States did not finally come under the influence of time zones until 1905, when [[Detroit]] finally established standard time.<ref>WebExhibits. [http://webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/d.html Daylight Saving Time]. Retrieved on 2007-06-24.</ref> Other countries followed the lead of the United States in taking simultaneous weather observations, starting in 1873.<ref>NOAA. [http://celebrating200years.noaa.gov/foundations/weather/#expand An Expanding Presence.] Retrieved on 2007-05-05.</ref> Other countries then began preparing surface analyses. The use of frontal zones on weather maps did not appear until the introduction of the [[Norwegian cyclone model]] in the late 1910s, despite Loomis' earlier attempt at a similar notion in 1841.<ref>David M. Schultz. ''[http://www.cimms.ou.edu/~schultz/sanders/sanders.pdf Perspectives on Fred Sanders's Research on Cold Fronts]'', 2003, revised, 2004, 2006, p. 5. Retrieved on 2006-07-14.</ref> Since the leading edge of air mass changes bore resemblance to the [[military front]]s of [[World War I]], the term "front" came into use to represent these lines.<ref>Bureau of Meteorology. [http://www.bom.gov.au/info/ftweather/page_6.shtml Air Masses and Weather Maps.] Retrieved on 2006-10-22.</ref>
 
 
[[Image:Weather symbolsNEW2.png|thumb|Present weather symbols used on weather maps]]
 
 
Despite the introduction of the Norwegian [[cyclone]] model just after World War I, the United States did not formally analyze fronts on surface analyses until late 1942, when the WBAN Analysis Center opened in downtown [[Washington, D.C.]].<ref>[[Hydrometeorological Prediction Center]]. [http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/html/historyNMC.shtml A Brief History of the Hydrometeorological Prediction Center.] Retrieved on 2007-05-05.</ref> The effort to automate map plotting began in the United States in 1969,<ref>ESSA. [http://www.ncep.noaa.gov/officenotes/NOAA-NPM-NCEPON-0001/013FD50A.pdf Prospectus for an NMC Digital Facsimile Incoder Mapping Program.] Retrieved on 2007-05-05.</ref> with the process complete in the 1970s. [[Hong Kong]] completed their process of automated surface plotting by 1987.<ref>Hong Kong Observatory. [http://www.weather.gov.hk/wservice/tsheet/computer.htm The Hong Kong Observatory Computer System and Its Applications.] Retrieved on 2007-05-05.</ref> By 1999, computer systems and software had finally become sophisticated enough to allow for the ability to underlay on the same workstation satellite imagery, radar imagery, and model-derived fields such as atmospheric thickness and [[frontogenesis]] in combination with surface observations to make for the best possible surface analysis. In the United States, this development was achieved when Intergraph workstations were replaced by n-[[Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System|AWIPS]] workstations.<ref>[[Hydrometeorological Prediction Center]]. [http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/html/Accomplish99/Accomplish99.html Hydrometeorological Prediction Center 1999 Accomplishment Report.] Retrieved on 2007-05-05.</ref> By 2001, the various surface analyses done within the National Weather Service were combined into the Unified Surface Analysis, which is issued every six hours and combines the analyses of four different centers.<ref name="DR">David Roth. Hydrometeorological Prediction Center. [http://www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/sfc/UASfcManualVersion1.pdf Unified Surface Analysis Manual.] Retrieved on 2006-10-22.</ref> Recent advances in both the fields of [[meteorology]] and [[geographic information system]]s have made it possible to devise finely tailored products that take us from the traditional weather map into an entirely new realm. Weather information can quickly be matched to relevant geographical detail. For instance, icing conditions can be mapped onto the road network. This will likely continue to lead to changes in the way surface analyses are created and displayed over the next several years.<ref>Saseendran S. A., Harenduprakash L., Rathore L. S. and Singh S. V. [http://www.gisdevelopment.net/application/environment/conservation/envm0004.htm A GIS application for weather analysis and forecasting.] Retrieved on 2007-05-05.</ref> The [[pressureNET]] project is an ongoing attempt to gather surface pressure data using smartphones.
 
   
 
== Station model used on weather maps ==
 
== Station model used on weather maps ==
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