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How To Read a Skew-T Chart/sounding

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How To Read a Skew-T Chart/sounding

Post by Stovepipe on 2011-12-21, 1:38 pm

Useful info from snowdog and Toot

Red Line is Temp.
Green line is Dew Point Tmp.
Blue line is Wet Bulb Temp.

Y axis is your Pressure. 850 corresponds to your 850mb maps. 500 corresponds to 500mb. Etc. Usually the colored lines stop at the ground location. X axis is temperature in Celsius.

So find the 0 on the x axis and that is the freezing mark. Work your way up the diagonal line starting at the 0 mark. On the graph I showed you can see the column doesn't start to hit freezing till 850mb's. Meaning the lower levels from about a mile up in the air down to the ground are too warm to support frozen precip.

Also you can see the colored lines come together at 500mb and stay together. This is indicative of a saturated column. In say a virga storm you may see them together from 500 to 850 then spread apart meaning the whole column isn't saturated thus while it looks like precip on a radar it isn't making it to the ground.

Sleet signature would have warm temps aloft and cold temps from about 850 down. Freezing rain would show warm air aloft and a cold layer right at the surface.

There is also a way to interpret snow growth regions from the skew-t but I'm not very good explaining that as I don't understand that facet of the graph fully.

An easy way to get these graphs is to go to TwisterData, click a model and hour, then click on a map location.
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Re: How To Read a Skew-T Chart/sounding

Post by Toot on 2011-12-21, 3:54 pm

Thought these graphics would also be quite helpful...just keep in mind skew-t/soundings should never be taken verbatim in the medium or long range..these are forcasted small scale details and change from one run to the next. That said they are VERY useful in the short range and nowcasting situations

How to read a sounding

A common sight in the east TN valley is the old warmnose at the boundary layer and you end up with the hated cold rain

The Sleet/freezing rain sounding...note the boundary has a fairly deep freezing layer resulting in sleet... if it were more shallow it would be more of a freezing rain scenario but often these two precip types accompany each other

Snow sounding

Last edited by Toot on 2012-02-09, 12:19 am; edited 3 times in total

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Re: How To Read a Skew-T Chart/sounding

Post by Guest on 2011-12-21, 4:08 pm

Good stuff! Very interesting, informative read. Kudos to snowdog/toot for the info, and stove for posting it and making it into a separate thread.


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Re: How To Read a Skew-T Chart/sounding

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