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  1. In general, pertaining to or affording an overall view.

    In meteorology, this term has become somewhat specialized in referring to the use of meteorological data obtained simultaneously over a wide area for the purpose of presenting a comprehensive and nearly instantaneous picture of the state of the atmosphere. Thus, to a meteorologist, "synoptic" takes on the additional connotation of simultaneity.

  2. A specific scale of atmospheric motion with a typical range of many hundreds of kilometers, including such phenomena as cyclones and tropical cyclones.

    Compare mesoscale.

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