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8.15: Weather Maps

Difficulty Level: Basic Created by: CK-12
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Practice Weather Maps
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What can a weather map tell you about the weather?

A lot! A weather map indicates all sorts of things to let you know the forecast. It also may have some cute graphics associated with it.

Weather Maps

You may have seen weather maps like the one in Figure below. A weather map shows weather conditions for a certain area. The map may show the actual weather on a given day. It may show the predicted weather for some time in the future. Some weather maps show many weather conditions. Others show a single condition.

This weather map shows air pressure contours. Which state has the lowest air pressure shown on the map?

Air Pressure Maps

The weather map in Figure above shows air pressure. The lines on the map connect places that have the same air pressure. Air pressure is measured in a unit called the millibar. Isobars are the lines that connect the points with the same air pressure. The map also shows low- and high-pressure centers and fronts. Find the cold front on the map. This cold front is likely to move toward the northeast over the next couple of days. How could you use this information to predict what the weather will be on the East Coast?

Other Weather Maps

Instead of air pressure, weather maps may show other weather conditions. For example, a temperature map might show the high and low temperatures of major cities. The map may have isotherms, lines that connect places with the same temperature.


  • isobar: Lines of equal pressure.
  • weather map: A map showing weather conditions over a wide area at a given time.


  • Weather maps graphically depict weather conditions.
  • Isobars are lines of constant pressure.
  • Isobars indicate pressure cells.


Use these resources to answer the questions that follow.

How To Read A Surface Analysis Of A Weather Map at http://www.ehow.com/video_4435916_read-surface-analysis-weather-map.html (1:06)

  1. What do weather maps on television usually tell you?
  2. Where should you begin when analyzing weather maps?

How To Read Weather Plots Of A Weather Map at http://www.ehow.com/video_4435917_read-weather-plots-weather-map.html (2:11)

  1. What website is an excellent source of weather information?
  2. What is a weather station plot?
  3. List the various items recorded on a weather station model plot.


  1. What is the lines on the weather map above?
  2. How are high and low pressure cells indicated on a weather map?
  3. What do the blue and red hatched lines indicate on the map?



Lines of equal pressure.


Lines that connect places with the same temperature.

weather map

Map showing weather conditions over a wide area at a given time.

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Difficulty Level:
6 , 7
Date Created:
Jan 04, 2013
Last Modified:
May 11, 2016
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