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World Weather Maps
Detailed synoptic charts for Australia and the whole globe

Changes are being made to the World Weather Maps to make them easier to navigate and to provide more information. The charts now show:

  • Plots for each station that can be fitted on the chart showing weather information, as before
  • Isobars, high and low pressure systems as before
  • Isotherms, or lines of equal temperature. These were on the charts previously, however they are now more prominent and at intervals of 5C. They are coloured green, but the 30C isotherm is brown, the 0C isotherm is dark blue and the -30C isotherm is purple. This gives a quick way of finding hot, cold and very cold areas.
  • Humidity. Areas of high humidity (>85%) are shaded light green - look in these areas for rain or (if the temperature is below zero) snow. Areas of low humidity (<15%) are shaded light yellow.
  • Note that for ocean charts only plots and isobars are shown because of the lack of temperature and humidity observations.

Hourly updates to many international charts (the menu at the top of each area's page) have been discontinued, and as a result those links don't work. The new navigation system will correct this. The six-hourly archive, however, is working for all international charts and the 3-hourly archive for all Australian charts. Hourly updates ARE available for:

  • All Australian charts
  • 100 The All Africa chart
  • 200 The All Asia chart
  • 300 The All South America chart
  • 400 The All North America chart
  • 440 Contiguous USA (lower 48)
  • 500 The Oceania - Australian region chart
  • 600 The All Europe chart
  • 610 Western Europe

The Australian Weather News synoptic charts give you 67 huge maps covering the entire globe with particular emphasis on Australia. They are updated hourly with detailed weather information for thousands of locations. Each chart also has its own special home page, including a 24-hour archive for hourly maps and a one-month archive for more detailed charts produced four times a day. Help pages and on-screen diagrams make it easy to understand the plotted weather information, and the regional variations in weather reporting around the world.

Quick access menu for experienced users

Finding your way around

1. After you've read the rest of this blurb, use the menu at right to select an area. Check the UTC time that appears on the first screen. It's the time used by all charts to avoid you going crazy with a squillion time zones.

2. A screen like the one below (but without the map) will open. Here's how it works:

Firstly, you have three sets of menus to other charts and documents.
Menu 1 lets you jump to another continent or the oceans/poles area, and
Menu 2 lets you jump between high scale areas on the current continent.
Clicking any link in menu 1 or 2 brings up the home page for the new chart.
Menu 3 lets you access help documents and cheat sheets, or go back to AWN's home page or this general chart index page.

Secondly, you have two sets of menus for the charts themselves:
Menu 4 is for hourly charts - 24 charts, one for each of the past 24 hours, and
Menu 5 is for archive charts - 4 or 8 charts for each day for the past month. These are better than the hourly charts because they have much more detail.
Clicking any link in menus 4 or 5 opens that chart in window 6.

3. When the chart opens (drum roll), the first thing to do is to check the "GENERATED" time/date/month in the top left corner. Make sure you are not looking at an old chart! Check that the GENERATED time/date/month is later than the chart you're expecting. For example, if you are looking for today's 13UTC chart, check the time is after 13:00 and the date is today. The charts become available anywhere from 15 to 50 minutes past the hour, so the new chart may not have been uploaded yet. Also, heaven forbid, things do occasionally go wrong and a chart may not be produced at all.

4. (Nearly there...) The chart will show the familiar pressure lines (isobars) in red, similar lines for temperature (isotherms) in green, and also grey wind streamlines. Most important, though, are the station plots dotted all over the map. These are what make true synoptic charts special. Each plot gives a detailed description of the weather at a weather station in a plot that would fit under a 5c piece. Template 7 is always to the left of the map to remind you how the plot is laid out.

If you're a first time user or need more detailed information, check out the General Chart FAQ & Tutorial.

You may find these reference charts useful: World countries (2.8mb) and World timezones (1.2mb)

If you have any comments on, or suggested improvements to, the maps, I would greatly welcome feedback.

Australian data is provided by the Bureau of Meteorology. International data used are the publicly available coded synoptic and aviation METAR reports produced by national meteorological agencies and distributed over the WMO GTS. The synoptic reports are used subject to WMO Resolution 40 (Cg-XII) which reduces the availability of freely usable data from some countries, mostly in Europe.



The charts

900 Globe (Mercator)
000 All australia
007 SE Australia
010 NSW
011 --Sydney
020 VIC
021 --Melbourne
030 TAS
031 --Hobart
040 SA
041 --SE SA
050 WA
051 --SW WA
060 NT and QLD
061 --NT Top End
071 --QLD Coast
072 --SE QLD
100 All Africa
115 Northwestern Africa
135 Central and Northeastern Africa
150 Southern Africa
200 All Asia
210 Asian Russia (Siberia)
220 Western Asia (Middle East)
230 Central Western Asia
240 India
250 China
260 Japan, Korea
270 SE Asia, Indonesia, Philippines
South America
300 All_South America
310 Northwestern South America
340 Northeastern South America
370 Southern South America
North America
400 All North America
410 Alaska and Canadian territories
420 Canada - western provinces
430 Canada - eastern provinces
440 The contiguous United States
450 Western United States
460 Central United States
470 NE United States
485 Mexico - Central America - Gulf - Caribbean
500 Australian region
510 Coral and Tasman Seas
520 Polynesia
550 New Zealand
600 All Europe
610 Western Europe
611 United Kingdom
615 Iberia - France - Low Countries
625 Germany - Italy
630 Scandinavia - Baltic
642 Central Europe - north
646 Central Europe - south
650 European Russia
880 Mediterranean Sea
Oceans and Poles
800 North Atlantic Ocean
810 South Atlantic Ocean
820 Indian Ocean
830 North Pacific Ocean
840 South Pacific Ocean
850 Arctic Ocean
860 Antarctica - Southern Ocean