last night i heard rumors of a great snow coming to kunsan and i was determined to find some sort of authority that i could trust. i've never had much trust in 'local news' (not that i can understand local news here) nor the newspaper reports so late into the night i searched and searched online until...viola!! i found it.
now a disclaimer...these are forecasts which never have a 100% accuracy, and are also fairly large scale forecasts which also reduce accuracy. if you strive for the 100% accuracy you will need to learn how to decipher the skew-t diagrams, which are atmospheric vertical profile snaphots (temp, pressure, cloud, precip, etc.) of a given area.
(please contribute to the weather thread and post your favorite weather link here)
-use this for korean trips.
-this link will take you to the "cloud base" (aka visibility) sequence of .gif's. basically where the cloud cover is.
-click on the "precip" on the left and you will get the sequence for precipitation intensity (and of what type (rain, snow, sleet, etc.)). i have no idea what "trw" stands for but considering it's in between sleet and freezing rain it's probably not fun to be outdoors in.
-"sfc wind"...the 'barbs' show wind speed and direction. the wind direction is going from the 'flag' of the barb towards the tip of the 'pole'. the number of 'flags' refer to the speed of the wind (see skew-t explanation link below for 'flag' types)
-this is an aviators tool so the "turbc" and "icing" does not concern us.
-you can speed up or slow down the sequence, and also hover your mouse over the blocks at top to pause on a specific hour.
--asian regional forecast (including japan, n. korea and e. china...and of course s. korea):
-use this for e. china and japan trips (unless you find something better).
-this is exactly the same as the above link except on a larger scale.
--skew-t's (are you ready to really geek out?)
-these are observed data (balloon soundings from ground level to the upper atmosphere) for Osan, Sokcho, Gwanju, Baengyeongdo, Pohang, Heuksando, and Jeju Upper (not sure exactly where all these locations are...probably around airports though)
-the date and time of the recordings are indicated in the left column (year, month, day, hour). the color (red and blue) of the time (each column at left) refers to the data in the diagram (solid and dashed lines) and the wind data in the right column.
-to the right of the wind data is the barometric pressure vs. elevation converter (in feet).
-don't worry about the info below the 'wind' in the left column
--ok, the diagram.
-elevation is indicated in barometric pressure with the brown horizontal lines. we'll mainly work with 825 (highest point in mainland s. korea) to ground level (notice zero elev is not necessarily the bottom of the diagram).
-temperature lines are at a 45 degree angle (from left to right; the numbers in degrees are displayed from the lower right to upper left), and are also in brown.
-i don't know what the brown numbers at the bottom are nor the associated right to left angled lines; the green solid and dashed lines (adiabats) refer to the instability of the atmosphere and is beyond this post...and my comprehension. ignore them
-the red and blue lines going up the diagram are the important ones (remember, the two colors refer to the different readings/soundings)
-the solid line is the measured temperature and the dashed line is the measured dew point.
**when the two lines are close to each other, that means precipitation or clouds.
**when the two lines are apart from each other, that means clear skies.
**the location where the solid line crosses the brown diagonal zero degree temperature line, refers to the elevation of freezing level.
there are many aspects to this diagram that i do not understand, but being able to read those three things are golden! (is it raining or snowing or clear skies? is your climb above the clouds?)
(explains wind barbs, elevation, sounding lines, adiabats, etc.)
(this thread has a discussion on interpreting the diagrams. it also shows a 'meteogram' (a forecasted skew-t) that i just found out i can provide to the public upon request.
the skew-t's are a very useful tool for winter sports, so if you have any questions please post them here and i'll do my best to answer them.
this is from a US army site but i had no problem getting into it from my home computer so i assume it is accessable to anyone.
you can use the weather direction of the forecasted .gif's (top links) and the site specific data of the skew-t's to get a better estimate of what your target location has in store for you.
btw, it has snowed over 6" in kunsan today and it's still coming down! he he he...
anyone have a site that shows snowpack data?