Weather Game: spot the difference!

January 23, 2013 — 2 Comments

Can you spot the differences between these two weather charts? Two similar looking synoptic charts but hidden within them are 5 subtle differences that are set to bring totally “opposite” weather to the UK.

Friday 18 January brought “SKYFALL”: heavy snow across much of the country which worsened a wintry cold snap lasting a over week.

Friday 25 January is predicted to bring (eventually) warm and wet weather (preceded by some snow) across the entire country.

Two totally different outcomes from very similar looking charts. So… what’s the difference? Your answers welcomed in comments! n.b. there are more than 5 differences, but 5 is a good start, especially if you can explain them!

2 responses to Weather Game: spot the difference!


    1 – The gradient of pressure change is far greater for the 25th but most isobars fall over the Atlantic, picks up moisture but not so cold due to the latent heat of the oceans. On the ‘skyfall’ map higher winds. high to low pressure – eastern weather with the isobars mainly over the UK. Which meets the low pressure front over the UK.
    2 – the depression in the 25th is not ad far north as ‘skyfall’ so is not as cold, so the 25th would fall as rain as cloud base is not cold enough
    3 – the 25th has 3 occluded fronts. Not entirely sure how that changes anything drastically as im still learning.
    4 – Also the ‘skyfall’ map the large occluded front also meets another smaller front ahead of it – a meeting of fronts from high and low pressure creating vast amounts of moisture and colder weather – leading to more snowfall that falls as snow and continues
    5 – As there is no front to meet the coming front on the 25th. The air masses will not mix and condense to snowfall from the East. Instead it will fall as rain and slightly warmer from the heat picked up from the ocean.

    ??? I don’t expect to be correct, im still learning. Just thought i’ll have a shot in the dark 🙂


    Dave – thank you so much for reading the blog, adding your weather observations and taking the challenge! 1# Your first point about pressure gradient is spot on and probably the most important difference. 2# point is also important to the outcome: relative position of the big HIGH to the NE and the LOW to the west is subtly different but leads to important differences in air flow over the country (winds more or less follow the isobars). Let’s wait to discuss more answers a little while just in case others have a go. Enjoy this big weather we are having (assuming you are UK based) and thanks again!

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