How to Read a Weather Station Model & Common Symbols?

The weather station model

There are a lot of symbols and colors associated with a weather map and map reading. The symbols on the weather map are meant for a particular reason, conveying a lot of information without swiftly using words. 

In mathematics, as there are equations known as the language of math, the weather symbols are the language of weather, which makes it easy for anyone looking at the weather map. This article will give you the insight to decipher the meaning of the weather station common symbols.

Read on.

What Is A Station Model?

Before we jump onto understanding the functionalities of the weather symbol, let us know what a weather station model is. Based on a specific report, a weather station model rightly depicts the required information about the weather. Every minute detail regarding the weather is present in a weather report, like temperature, wind speed, atmospheric pressure, wind direction, cloud precipitation, etc.

Thus using the model, you can easily arrange all types of data in a weather report. The station model was invented on the 1st of August 1941, and ever since then, it has just been evolving.

Weather Station – Common Symbols and Their Meanings

Check out the standard symbols and readings of the weather map covering the basics without getting much deeper into it. 


The model of the temperature is self-explanatory. It just reads the temperature of the present and past. 

Wind Speed and Direction

Wind-related symbols are the most exciting symbols on the weather map. A flag-shaped pattern indicates the wind, whereas the direction of the flag indicates the wind direction. To know where the wind is coming from, observe the center circle as the wind direction is determined by the flag direction coming to the circle.

The speed of the wind is indicated by knots and the upward inclined lines on the flags. Ten knots = 12 mph just for information. A flag denotes 50 knots, a full line denotes 10 knots, and a half line denotes 5. Now 65 knots speed can be depicted with symbols in the below manner:

A flag with one single line and a half line


The tenths of millibars (mb) depict the sea-level pressure in which two or the first half is generally left off. On a standard note, there are three digits in front of 9 or 10 based on whichever is closer to 1000. 

Example: 1010.7 mb = 107 (Since 1010 is closer to 1000 than 910.7, 10 is added to the front) If you are unaware about the mb, 1015.9 mb = 30 in-HG

  • If 028 is the plotted pressure, then the complete sea-level pressure value is 1002.8 mb
  • If 462 is the plotted pressure, then it would be 1046.2 mb
  • If 867 is the plotted pressure then it would be 986.7 mb.

The changes in pressure are seen for the latest 3 hours in symbols. The symbols used for pressure are stated below in the picture. Sometimes there is also a number next to the symbol in a few weather maps. The number in them indicates the fallen or risen pressure in the past 3 hours.

Sky/Cloud Cover

The observation location is the circle symbol, which indicates the type of sky cover during the observation time. Based on the cloud cover in the sky, the symbol is filled accordingly. Check out the few depictions below.

Dew Point

Similar to temperature, the symbol of the dew point is just a number. The number indicates the temperature point at which the air would cool enough to saturate with water. Thus the dew point temperature will always be lower than the air temperature and can never go higher. You will know that the air gains moisture if the dew point temperature gets closer to the air temperature. Relative humidity measurement is learned through this. 


The most interesting symbols of the weather map are of the weather itself. Current weather conditions are represented with the below-mentioned symbols. The image below is self-explanatory.


This was just a small brief about the weather symbols. Hope this blog was refreshing or short learning. We have researched, compared and analyzed all the different kinds of weather stations available in the market on our website. 

You can go through our website to gain more information about the weather stations and their functionalities. With this article, you will be better positioned to read the weather map in the future.

You can take a small tour of our website to understand better about weather stations, their reviews, the best ones, their operations and finally the best buy for you as well.

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