How to Read Weather Station Model

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Automation in weather observation makes it easy to share the final results with the entire community.

It becomes more like holding constant discussions about uploading weather data over the web portal.

But before making the most out of the same, you will have to know how to read a weather station model and that is exactly what we are going to talk about today.


This refers to the temperature at the time of last update or observation.


Sea-level pressure is indicated through tenths of milibars (mb). The first or both the first and second digit might be left off.

You will always see a 9 or 10 ahead of the first three digits depending on the number closer to 1000.

Thus 108 is indicated as 1010.8 mb. Here 10 is added at the beginning as 1010.8 is closer to 1000 in comparison to 910.8.

It is imperative to note here that 30 in-HG is equivalent to 1015.9 mb.

The symbols used for noting pressure indicate alterations over the latest three hours.

In many cases station plots feature numbers, next to this trend for hinting at the rise or fall in pressure over the last 3 hours.

Wind Speed & Direction

A flag-shaped pattern is used to denote wind speed and direction.

The direction of moving wind is denoted by the direction from which the flag comes into the center circle.

The flags and lines present on the post hint at the wind speed in knots. 10 knots is similar to 12 mph and a flag represents 50 knots.

A line has 10 knots while a half-line has 5 knots. Thus, a post with a flag, two lines and a half line would indicate 50+10+10+5 = 75 knots.

If the wind is calm, then this shall be further indicated with a circle around the center circle.

Dew Point

Dew point is also indicated by a number in a manner similar to temperature.

The readings refer to a temperature wherein the air becomes adequately cold for being saturated with water.

Maybe this is the reason why the dew point is always lower than the air temperature.

You can also gauge the level of relative humidity through dew point.

Discomfort kicks in once the dew point temperature increases to more than 65 degree Fahrenheit.

Cloud/Sky Cover

The center circle points at the location of observation while the symbol indicates the type of sky cover which was present during the same time.

The filling of the symbol is determined by the estimated cloud cover in the sky.


Various symbols are used for representing the present weather condition.

While an asterisk is used for snow, a dot refers to rain. Multiple number of same symbol refer to its degree of intensity.

While 2 asterisk refer to light snow, 3 hint at moderate snow and 4 means heavy snowfall.


A station plot comprises of various numbers and symbols which stand as a measure of the observed and recorded data such as wind speed and direction, temperature, pressure trend, dew point, sky cover and general weather scenarios.

Data is typically reported in Imperial units in the model plots of United States whereas the rest of the world makes use of metric units.

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