GLAPS Model: 500mb Heights and Wind Speed - Real-time

GLAPS Model: 500mb Heights and Wind Speed - Real-time thumbnail

Description

The Global Analysis and Prediction System, GLAPS, produces maps for several weather parameters over a large global domain. There are seven GLAPS products available for Science On a Sphere®. It is important for meteorologists to know the current conditions, not only in their local area, but also globally. A computer model is used to create a first guess as to what the map should look like, and then observations are added to enhance the map. The observations come from Doppler radars, satellites, wind and temperature profilers, radiometric profilers, as well as aircraft. GLAPS is such a powerful tool because of its ability to consolidate observations from so many different sources. The GLAPS datasets are available in real-time, updating hourly, and include the data for the past week.

Every real-time GLAPS dataset all updates hourly. GLAPS 500mb Height + Wind + Windspeed is an image of the wind speed at 500mb in knots, with wind barbs and 500mb height contours overlaid. Contour lines show lines of equal height at the 500mb pressure level which is roughly the halfway point in the atmosphere. The 500mb pressure level is around 18,000 feet above the surface and varies in height based on pressure. High heights equal high pressure at the surface and low heights represent low pressure. The color variation shows wind speed in knots (1 knot = 1.15 mph). Red/yellow represent high wind speeds and blue/purple low. The jet stream, a river of fast moving air, is very well highlighted in red, yellow and green. Wind barbs are included to show wind speed and wind direction. The barbs point in the direction the wind is blowing and each half tickmark represents 5 knots, full tickmarks are 10 knots and a flag is 50 knots. Wind barbs show counterclockwise rotating winds as the air moves quickly in and up around an area of low pressure (L), notice the opposite around the areas of high pressure (H). Numbers inside the H's and L's describe the height of the 500mb pressure varying between about 5300 - 5900 meters above the surface. Colorbar for this dataset is below.

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GLAPS 500mb Height + Wind + Windspeed in kt

Notable Features

  • Contour lines show lines of equal height at the 500mb pressure level
  • Color variation shows wind speed in knots (1 knot= 1.15 mph)
  • Red/yellow represent high wind speeds and blue/purple low
  • Wind barbs show wind speed and direction and point the direction the wind is blowing; half tickmarks represent 5 knots, full tickmarks are 10 knots and a flag is 50 knots
  • Numbers inside the H's and L's describe the height of the 500mb pressure varying between about 5300 - 5900 meters above the surface

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