book04analysis - Weather Observation and Analysis John...

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Weather Observation and Analysis John Nielsen-Gammon Course Notes These course notes are copyrighted. If you are presently registered for ATMO 251 at Texas A&M University, permission is hereby granted to download and print these course notes for your personal use. If you are not registered for ATMO 251, you may view these course notes, but you may not download or print them without the permission of the author. Redistribution of these course notes, whether done freely or for profit, is explicitly prohibited without the written permission of the author. Chapter 4. CREATING A HAND ANALYSIS 1. Introduction An analysis is a depiction of the state of the atmosphere as determined from observations. Within this definition lie the secrets of creating a good subjective analysis. Why learn how to create a handmade analysis? Aside from the fact that you may need that skill someday, the most important reason is that it teaches you how the atmosphere fits together, how to take snapshots of pieces of the atmosphere and assemble them in your mind to form a coherent whole. Creating a good hand analysis requires that you understand both the observations and the atmosphere. 4.2 Observations The most important word in this definition is the word “observations”. There are infinite possibilities for an analysis, depending on the person (or computer algorithm) performing the analysis and the purposes of the analysis itself. There is no single “right” analysis. But the easiest way to produce a flat-out wrong analysis is to miss an observation. An analysis could be gorgeous and sophisticated, but if it doesn’t agree appropriately with the observations, it’s worthless. ATMO 251 Chapter 4 page 1 of 22
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So, the analyst’s first responsibility is to consider all the available data, or at least as much as can be considered in the available time. This is not as hard as it sounds. In the course of drawing the analysis, you will cover the map with lines and will necessarily look at most of the data in the process. Three tips: First, when confronted with a map with nothing but data on it, take a good hard look and get a sense of the basic patterns in the data. Second, when you are drawing contours, look beyond the data on either side of the contour and make sure that you’re considering all the data in the area. Third, when you think you have finished, scan the map and make sure all the data fits. You will find that when you first see the map with data, it’s a big jumble of numbers. When you finish the analysis and scan it for the last time, you will see all the patterns in the data, and most of it will make sense! In fact, that’s the most important reason to do an analysis in the first place: to discover what the data is telling you, and to understand what’s really going on in the atmosphere. 4.3 Types of Analysis Errors
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book04analysis - Weather Observation and Analysis John...

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