Synoptic chart

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synoptic chart

In meteorology, any chart or map on which data and analyses are presented that describe the state of the atmosphere over a large area at a given moment in time.

The possible variety of such charts is almost limitless, but in meteorological history there has been a more or less standard set of synoptic charts, including surface charts and the constant- pressure charts of the upper air. Other synoptic charts include isentropic charts and constant- height charts, both used for upper-air analysis. There are a number of auxiliary and special- purpose synoptic charts, including thickness charts, tropopause charts, stability charts, change charts, continuity charts, etc., that have useful applications for preparing forecasts of weather events at various locations.
See also mean chart, prognostic chart, cross section, profile.