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1-6 day weather forecast Europe (UKMO)


500 hPa height + temperatures & mean sea level pressure + thickness 1000-500 hPa

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Run of 12 UTC



500 hPa map

Black lines + values height = contour 500 hPa each 8 gpdam
H = center of high geopotential values.
T = center of low geopotential values.
White lines  = isotherms each 5C.
Colored zones = isotherms each 1C.

Useful for: trough & ridge pattern propagation (long waves) and short waves, steering pattern of frontal systems, detect cold and warm air masses, and estimate stability of atmosphere (stable with warm upper air, unstable with cold upper air).


Surface map

White (or black) lines = mean sea level pressure isobars each 5 hPa (hectopascal).
H = center of high pressure.
T = center of low pressure. 
Grey lines + values = thickness 1000-500 hPa each 8 gpdam (geopotential decameter).
Colored zones =  thickness 1000-500 hPa each 4 gpdam (geopotential decameter).

Useful for: combination thickness and mean sea level pressure will show areas experiencing advection of cold air (CAA) with low thickness values or advection of warm air (WAA) with high thickness values. This has effect on the low level temperatures which will increase in WAA and decrease in CAA. Certain thickness values mark air masses eventually separated by fronts: 570 tropical air,  546 = polar front, 510 arctic front.
Useful for: thickness give indication on type of precipitation (wintry or not). See further on maps "forecasting snow via thickness".
Useful for: prognoses for wind speed (tight isobars =  rather windy), direction = clock wise around high pressure and anti clock wise around low pressure, and general type of weather (rather poor in a low, and fair in a high)






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