Saturday, November 22, 2014

More "Energy" Jargon From NWS Tucson

Today's weather feature from NWS Tucson shows a figure (above) that is labeled "Mid-level Energy for Today." However, that's not what this chart shows. In fact, if general readers want to look up what "energy" refers to here, they could go to the NWS Glossary of terms -   

However, they will find no entry for "energy" since there are many types (e.g., nuclear energy, kinetic energy, etc.). One can find an entry in the glossary for "kinetic energy" and might possibly assume that this is what is shown on this graphic. But, no - the text on this graphic is just a sloppy use of technical jargon that has no exact meaning. 

The chart is actually the NAM analysis of 500 mb winds, heights and vorticity (and as indicated on the graphic it is actually an analysis of geostrophic absolute vorticity). The NAM analysis is shown below. The NWS NAM display can also be criticized for incomplete legends - i.e., bar graphic at left has omitted the power of 10 portion of the magnitude and the units. But, it is a professional chart that is far better than the local chart with its erroneous terminology.

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