How Do Weather Maps Work in Weather Mate? (Part IV)

How Do Weather Maps Work in Weather Mate? (Part IV)

The series of tutorials explaining the weather maps feature in Weather Mate is nearing its end but the exhaustive list of details and information that this attribute furnishes never seems to be winding up. We have talked extensively on the broad spectrum of weather map layers in the previous three editions of our blog posts. Our aim has been to to dissect and analyze the various segments and layers of these maps to simplify them for the common user in order to render his/her experience of the app as much rewarding as possible. So, without much ado let us delve into the weather map layers for this week.

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Weather Fronts:

Fronts, on a weather map, represent the boundary between two masses of air with contrasting temperature and/or humidity levels. They are important as they depict variations in weather conditions leading to clouds, rains and other significant weather events. Weather Mate shows following four different types of weather fronts in its weather maps feature:

  • Warm Front: This is a boundary formed when warm denser air moves into colder drier air and rises above it, thus producing clouds and causing possible precipitation. Warm fronts are shown as red semi-circles in weather maps.

  • Cold Front: As the cold air is separated from warm air, it pushes under the warm air because of its higher density forcing the cold air to rise. Appropriate amount of moisture in the atmosphere can result into thunderstorms. Cold fronts are shown on weather maps as blue triangles.

  • Occluded Front: These are formed when cold dry air rushes in to substitute cooler air ahead of the warm front. Occluded fronts are represented by purple colored alternating semi-circles and triangles in the maps.

  • Stationary Front: It is the separating boundary between two different masses of air with different densities but are not moving. Weather remains clear to partly cloudy along such fronts. These are represented by interchanging red semi-circles and blue triangles on the weather map.

  • Trough: It is the region of very low atmospheric pressure and is represented in Weather Mate as a dashed line.

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Fire Risk:

Fire risk map layer lets the user choose from among a number of options from the Fire Risk Map Settings menu.

  • Fire Danger Rating: It forecasts the behavior of a fire in the event it is started and a measure of how difficult it would be to put it out. The higher the rating, the more alarming the situation is expected to be.

  • Lower Atmosphere Stability: The vertical movement of air is determined by the stability or instability of the Earth’s atmosphere. Atmosphere is said to be stable when it resists air’s vertical motion while atmospheric instability in drier conditions can result in the formation of fire whirls.

  • Keetch-Byram Drought Index: It is a drought index for assessment of fire potential and is based on soil moisture and relates to the flammability of of organic material in the ground.

  • Dead Fuel Moisture: It is a measure of the amount of water in vegetation (fuel) available to a fire. Higher the fuel moisture content, lesser readily do the fires ignite. Vegetation less than 1/4 inch in diameter, such as grass and leaves respond more quickly to changes in the atmospheric moisture content, and take 10 hours to adjust to moist/dry conditions called 10-hour dead fuel moisture. Dead fallen trees and brush piles that are 3 inches to 8 inches in diameter, can take up to 1,000 hours to adjust to moist conditions, and are represented by the 1000–hour dead fuel moisture index.

We hope that the simple explanation above will help you extract more information from Weather Mate. Visit us next week for the next installment of walkthrough on another map layer.