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An Introduction to Weather Map Symbols and Terminology

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Weather Maps Use Symbols for Ease and Understanding
Weather Map Symbols

A Summary of Weather Map Symbols

NOAA
The key to understanding a weather map is to understand the weather symbols that are used on the map. Weather map symbols were created as a method of reporting meteorological data in mass quantities to weather analyzing agencies such as the National Weather Service. The symbols are a form of shorthand used when writing out the information longhand becomes difficult. Think of the following example:

8 x 7 = 56
eight multiplied by seven equals the sum quantity of fifty-six


That is a pretty long way of writing a simple math equation. In fact, you may already use a version of shorthand in your email and blog postings. For instance, using :) is a smile! But how do meteorologists use weather symbols? Click on a tutorial below to find out!

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