Help about Westwind.ch


Weather Forecast Maps on the Internet - Before you start
Westwind.ch - What it is and why it is useful
How to navigate through Westwind.ch
Getting images and animations
Searching in Westwind.ch
A list of abbreviations (A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z)
About the author






 
Weather Forecast Maps on the Internet - Before you start
The amount of weather data on the Internet is amazing. Almost everyone can reach it and choose the information that is needed. Numberous weather charts are direct output by computer models without much interpretation. So you can start with your own weather forecast where every professional meteorologist does.
However, the vast diversity of available weather data holds the risk of completely loosing the overview about what is relevant and what isn't. It is very confusing, while hundreds of weather sites contain a only bit of information. If you have to create your forecast on the basis of these fragments by surfing from one site to another, accross various complicated or informationless index- and headerpages, the advantage of the internet as a weather data source against the conventional media tends towards zero (or minus something)!
Westwind.ch is a big help. But before using it, you should know some basics about meteorology in common and about forecasts maps and how to read them. Visit the following good sites to get an overview:






 
Westwind.ch - What it is and why it is useful
Westwind.ch is a comprehensive collection of direct links to weather data on the Internet concerning current and future weather for Europe. From Westwind.ch you can reach nearly all available weather charts within two or three mouse clicks.
I'm not creating any weather lists or maps by my own! I'm just putting all the existing data together into a common layout to increase the survey. I'm also trying to bypass any informationless and commercially overflown pages. I'm trying to point to the real content you are looking for.
If you are new on Westwind.ch, start with just one target page. The best choice to begin is possibly United Kingdom Model. When you get used to this set of weather maps, take another one and compare.
Remember that each page in a subset is based on the same model. But the graphical layout, the map area, the map projection, the combination of parameters or the time of update are different!





 
How to navigate through Westwind.ch
Westwind.ch has an easy structure. From the mainpage, you can reach all target pages within one or two mouse clicks. You need two clicks, if the name of the link is followed by 3 dots..., for example, if you click on AVN... you get a new subset of pages, that contain data based on the AVN model.
Each target page is linked to the previous visited page, the mainpage and this help page with the following simple menu:
Back Main Help
From a target page, you can reach any other page with a simple rollover-menu as shown here:
Current Picts 0-48h 0-72h 0-10d Special
All target pages contain a link to the site where the data is originally published. So if the direct links to the images are broken, try to look at the original page. Maybe they are down or the update of the images isn't ready yet.





 
Getting images and animations
Links called 0.0d 1.0d 2.0d... typically contain maps or images for today (0.0d), tomorrow (1.0d) and after tomorrow (2.0d) and so on. Links called -3h contain maps or images that are 3 hours old. Links called 6-Panel 9-Panel contain whole time series. Usually, the resolution of such images is lower than the sum of all single maps, but obtained information per download-time is much higher (modem-user!).
Clicking on All gets a JavaScript generated image animation with the weather-maps of the same type (row, horizontal animation, time series) or same time (col, vertical animation, parameter series). Wait until all images are loaded into the animation and then press "Play" to run the animation or "<1" or "1>" to step single pics backwards or forwards. You can also control the animation-speed with the buttons called "Fast" and "Slow".
The image animation feature needs a JavaScript capable browser. You can enable JavaScript this way:
Netscape 3.xx: Options / Network Preferences / Languages: "Enable JavaScript"
Netscape 4.xx: Edit / Preferences... / Advanced: "Enable JavaScript"
IExplorer 5.xx: Tools / Inernet Options / Security / Custom Level / Active Scripting: "Enable"





 
Searching in Westwind.ch
You can search for pages in Westwind.ch that contain a given weather parameter for a given area. Example: Select "Precipitation" and "Spain" in the option-lists and press the "Search" button. Westwind.ch will be generated new, but now it has only links to pages that contain at least the parameter "precipitation" and cover at least "Spain".
The two option-lists contain several redundant sections. Example: You can select precipitation or you can more specifically select PP12h (Only 12 hourly precipitation).
Leaving blank an option-list means "all". If you leave blank the Weather Parameter list and only select "Spain" in the Area List, you get the "Spanish Version" of Westwind.ch, that means, now there are only links to pages that are relevant for Spain.
If you leave blank both lists and press on "Search", you get links to all pages that exist in Westwind.ch, but in this case you should better use the default mainpage, because it contains all pages too and has an easier structure.






A list of abbreviations
*This symbol is called wildcard and means ALL (parameters, areas...)
0.0d, 1.0d, 2.0d..Analization, 1day forecast, 2day forecast..
00h, 06h, 12h..Analization, 6hour forecast, 12hour forecast..
A
AeqPotTempEquivalent Potential Temperature
AGIFAnimated GIF (Video Format)
AGLAbove Ground Level
AlbAlbany, NY
ANIMAnimation
AnomAnomaly
ArlAir Ressources Laboratory
ATAustria
ATLAtlantic ocean computer-model
AVNAviation computer-model
AwcAviation Weather Center
B
BeNeLuxBelgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg
Bft.Beaufort (Wind Speed Scale)
BOLBologna Limited Area Model
BOLAMBologna Limited Area Model
BrackBracknell
C
CCentral, centre
C-EuropeCentral Europe
CanwpCairo Numerical Weather Prediction Center
CAPEConvective Available Potential Energy
C1..C6Channel1..Channel6
CdcClimate Diagnostics Center
CHSwitzerland
ChmiCzech Meteorological Institute
CHigClouds high (Height of the clouds more than 5000m)
CLowClouds low (Height of the clouds less than 2000m)
CMidClouds middle (Height of the clouds between 2000m and 5000m)
CmirlCentro Meteo-Idrologico della Regione Liguria
CmpComparison
CNMCACentro Nazionale di Meteorologia e Climatologia Aeronautica
CnnCable News Network
ConvConvergence
CptecCentro de Previsão de Tempo e Estudos Climaticos
CsvdiCentro Sperimentale Valanghe E Difesa Idrogeologica
D
dDays
DALAMData Assimilation Limited Area Model
DEGermany
DewptDew Point
dH500Change in the Height of the 500hPa-level
DivDivergence
DKDenmark
DkrzDeutsches Klimarechenzentrum
DmiDanish Meteorological Institute
DwdDeutscher Wetterdienst (German meteorological office)
E
EEast, Eastern
ECM, ECMWFComputer-model by Ecmwf.
EcmwfEuropean Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
EcpcExperimental Climate Prediction Center
EFSEnsemble forecast system
ENSEnsemble forecast
ENSOEl Niņo / Southern Oscillation
ESSpain
ETAName of a forecast computer model (from the greek letter "eta")
EuEurope, European
F
FhiyFederal Hydrometeorological Institute of Yugoslavia
FIFinland
FLFlight Level
FmiFinnish Meteorological Institute
FnmFleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center
FnmocFleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center
FRFrance
ft.Feet (1 ft = 0.31m)
FubFree University of Berlin
Fu-BerlinFree University of Berlin
G
GGlobal
GBGreat Britain
GEMGlobal Environmental Model
GeopGeopotential
GeopotGeopotential
GIFGraphics Interchange Format (Pixelbased Image Format)
GMEGlobal Model by Deutscher Wetterdienst
GMTGreenwich Mean Time = Zulu Time (Z) = Universal Time Coordinated (UTC)
gpmGeopotential Meter (1)
gpdmGeopotential Decameter (10)
gphmGeopotential Hectometer (100)
gpkmGeopotential Kilometer (1000)
GradsGraphical Analyzing and Display System
GSMGlobal Spectral Model
H
h (12h)Hour (12 hour)
H (H500)Height (Height where air-pressure is 500hPa, also called 500hPa-level)
H (letter standing alone)Hemisphere, hemispheric view
H-H (H500-H1000)Distance between two geopotential heights
HemHemisphere
HgtHeight
HiResHigh resolution
HIRHigh Resolution Limited Area Model
HIRLAMHigh Resolution Limited Area Model
HmisHydrometeorological Institute of Slovenia
hPaHectopascal (Air-pressure Measure, 1hPa = 1mbar)
HtHeight
HTML, HTMHypertext Markup Language (Fileformat for Internet-Browsers)
HumRelative Humidity (%)
I
IInitialization, Initialization time
IcmInterdisciplinary Center for Mathematics and Computer Modeling
InfnNational institute for nuclear physics of Italy
InmSpanish meteorological institute
IRInfra-Red
IRIreland
IriInternational Research Institute for Climate Prediction
ITItaly
J/K
JmaJapanese Meteorological Agency
JMAComputer-model by Japanese Meteorological Agency
JPEG, JPGJoint Photographic Experts Group (Pixelbased TrueColor Image Format)
JSJavaScript
KmiRoyal meteorological institute of the Netherlands
KnmiRoyal meteorological institute of the Netherlands
KnKnots (1Kn = 1.852 km/h)
L
LLocal, limited area
LatLatitude
LegLegend
LevelThicknLevel Thickness (Distance between two geopotential heights)
LightnLightning(s)
LILLiguria Limited Area Model
LILAMLiguria Limited Area Model
LogLogin Name
LonLongitude
LRLong Range
M
M (Cmp M)Model (Comparison of several models)
mMeter (1m = 3.28 ft)
MARKOV-MRMARKOV Multivariate Regression
MASSMesoscale Atmospheric Simulation System
MaxMaximum
mbMillibar (Air-pressure measure, 1mb = 1hPa)
mbarMillibar (Air-pressure measure, 1mbar = 1hPa)
METARAviation routine weather report
MinMinimum
mmMillimeter
MPEG, MPGMotion Picture Experts Group (Video Fromat)
MRFMedium-Range Forecast Model
N
NNorth, Northern
N-Hemisph.Northern Hemisphere
NAONorth Atlantic Oszillation
NbcNational Broadcasting Company
NcepNational Center for Environmental Prediction
NENortheast, Northeastern
NemocNaval European Meteorology and Oceanography Center
NGPNavy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System
NOGAPSNavy Operational Global Atmospheric Prediction System
NlmNaval Atlantic Meteorology and Oceanography Center
NlmocNaval Atlantic Meteorology and Oceanography Center
NONorway
NoaaNational Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOGAPSNavy Operational Atmospheric Prediction System
NrNumber
NWNorthwest, Northwestern
NwsNational Weather Service
O
ObsObservation
OpOperational
OwsOperational Weather Squadron
M
PaPascal (Air-pressure measure, 100Pa = 1hPa)
PicsPictures
PixPictures
PotPotential
PP (PP12h)Precipitation (Precipitation in an interval of 12 hours)
PrecPrecipitation
Precip (Precip12h)Precipitation (Precipitation in an interval of 12 hours)
PrecipProbPrecipitation probability
PrecipTypeType of Precipitation (Rain, Snow...)
ProbProbability
PtPoint
Q
Q (Q700)Specific Humidity (Specific Humidity on 7000hPa-level)
R
R (Cmp R)Run (Comparison of several runs)
RAMSRegional Atmospheric Modeling System
RelTopRelative Topography (Distance between two geopotential heights)
RelTopogrRelative Topography (Distance between two geopotential heights)
RH (RH850)Relative Humidity (Relative Humidity on 850hPa-level)
RSMRegional Spectral Model
RVort (RVort500)Relative Vorticity (Relative Vorticity on 500hPa-level)
S
sSecond
SSouth, Southern
SatSatellite
SESweden
SFCSurface, Ground
SigSignificant
SLPSea Level Pressure
SLPressureSea Level Pressure
SMSwiss Model / Schweiz Modell
SmaSchweizerische Meteorologische Anstalt
SmrServizio Meteorologico Regionale
SRShort Range
SSTSea Surface Temperature
SynSynoptic, synoptical
SynopSynoptic, synoptical
T
T (T850)Temperature (Temperature on 850hPa-level)
T2mTemperature 2m above the ground
TAeqPotEquivalent-pontential Temperature
TAFTerminal Aerodrome Forecast
ThckThickness
ThicknThickness
ThunderstThunderstorm(s)
TSFCTemperature Surface (usually temperature 2m above ground)
TwTehnicom Weather
U
UceaUfficio Centrale di Ecologia Agraria
UkUnited Kingdom
UKMOComputer-model by United Kingdom Meteorological Office
UnivUniversity
UpdUpdate
UpmUniversidad Politecnica de Madrid
UsafUnited States Air Force
UTCUniversal Time Coordinated = Zulu Time (Z) = Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
UtoUSA Today
UVUltra Violet
V
VISVisible
VortAdvVorticity Advection
VTVerification Time
VVel (VVel700)Vertical Velocity (Vertical Velocity on 700hPa-level)
VVelocityVertical Velocity
W
WWest, western
W (W850)Wind (Wind on 850hPa-level)
wVertical Velocity
WAMA global ocean wave forecast computer-model
WonWetterOnline
WunWeather Underground
WVWater Vapor
WXWeather
WxpA weather visualization software
WZWetterzentrale (www.wetterzentrale.de)
X/Y/Z
YahYahoo
YdYesterday
Z (12Z)Zulu Time = Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) = Greenwich Mean Time (GMT)
ZamgAustrian meteorological office





 
About the author
Well, some of you asked for it: My name is Markus Pfister, I'm 37 years old and I'm currently working as a meteorologist in Switzerland. My job has three parts: Forecasting the weather - making the forecast readable for anyone - optimizing different automated processes, that, in the future, will be able to do the first two parts ;-) Besides this, I like mountains, snow, westwind, summer and ... thunderstorms! I'm possibly the most frequent visitor of Westwind.ch and I'm glad if it also serves you.