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What is the purpose of weather map symbols?

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Quick Answer

Weather map symbols provide a graphic representation of weather for meteorologists to read quickly. The symbols boil down complex meteorological conditions for swift reading and interpretation.

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Full Answer

The detailing on meteorological symbols is designed to communicate fairly complex concepts quickly. For example, the symbols for rain, drizzle and fog (a dot, a comma and horizontal lines, respectively) have more than 10 different combinations that indicate the various blends of precipitation and cloud cover, as well as the relative intensity of each one. The symbols and positioning for various weather fronts quickly indicate the direction and temperature for each type of front.

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