Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Weather Explained: What does it mean when I see '12z' on a weather map?

Because there are so many different time zones in the world, it gets hard to track models- much more if some are made in different continents. For this reason, weather models are run on Greenwich time, which is the time equivalent of the world's clock, if you will.

Whenever you see 'z' next to a time (example: 12z, 18z, 0z, 6z) it means Noon, 6PM, midnight, 6 am, respectively, all in Greenwich time.

So let's say you live in Missouri. You saw a map with a forecast for rain in your area at 12z. You can subtract 5 hours or 6 hours (depending on daylight savings time) to get your local time in Missouri for when the rain will fall. If you subtract 5 from 12, you get 7 AM. The rain would fall at 7 AM in Missouri.

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