Weather and Tides. Solent sailing forecast, weather forecast, satellite, and weather charts.




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Ryde Harbour, The Esplanade, Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 1JA
Tel: 01983 613879

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Last update 8/10/14

Charts updated approx 0730 UTC daily

Cold front  The leading edge of an advancing colder air mass. Its passage is usually marked by cloud and precipitation, followed by a drop in temperature and/or humidity.

Warm front  The leading edge of an advancing warmer air mass, the passage of which commonly brings cloud and precipitation followed by increasing temperature and/or humidity.

Occluded front (or 'occlusion')  Occlusions form when the cold front of a depression catches up with the warm front, lifting the warm air between the fronts into a narrow wedge above the surface. Occluded fronts bring cloud and precipitation.

Developing cold/warm front (frontogenesis)  Represents a front that is forming due to increase in temperature gradient at the surface.

Weakening cold/warm front (frontolysis)  Represents a front that is losing its identity, usually due to rising pressure. Cloud and precipitation becomes increasingly fragmented.

Upper cold/warm front  Upper fronts represent the boundaries between air masses at levels above the surface. For instance, the passage of an upper warm front may bring warmer air at an altitude of 10,000 ft, without bringing a change of air mass at the surface.

Quasi-stationary front  A stationary or slow-moving boundary between two air masses. Cloud and precipitation are usually associated.

Isobars  Contours of equal mean sea-level pressure (MSLP), measured in hectopascals (hPa). MSLP maxima (anticyclones) and minima (depressions) are marked by the letters H (High) and L (Low) on weather charts.

Thickness lines  Pressure decreases with altitude, and Thickness measures the difference in height between two standard pressure levels in the atmosphere. It is proportional to the mean temperature of this layer of air, so is a useful way of describing the temperature of an airmass.

Trough  An elongated area of relatively low surface pressure. The troughs marked on weather charts may also represent an area of low thickness (thickness trough), or a perturbation in the upper troposphere (upper trough). All are associated with increasing cloud and risk of precipitation.

Weather charts commonly show contour lines of 1000-500 hPa thickness, which represent the depth (in decametres, where 1 dam = 10 m) of the layer between the 1000 hPa and 500 hPa pressure levels. Cold, polar air has low thickness, and values of 528 dam or less frequently bring snow to the UK. Conversely, warm, tropical air has high thickness, and values in excess of 564 dam across the UK often indicate a heatwave.



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