Weather forecast maps use a confusing array of symbols, meteorological shorthand, timekeeping systems, and color schemes to display current and future weather patterns. Learning to interpret surface weather maps will improve your marine forecasting skills and the safety and comfort of your outings.

The symbols identifying high and low pressure systems, frontal boundaries, troughs, ridges, tropical cyclones and other meteorological features will be examined. Wind forecasting graphics such as wind barbs, streamlines, and the basics of weather forecast models will also be explained.

  • Barometric pressure
  • Air masses
  • Frontal boundaries and other surface weather features
  • Isobars
  • Low pressure
  • Stationary fronts
  • Cold fronts
  • Warm fronts
  • Occluded fronts
  • Troughs
  • High pressure
  • Ridges
  • Tropical cyclones
  • Meteorological Time
  • Interpreting surface forecast maps
  • Decoding NDFD Weather Type
  • Wind forecast graphics
  • Wave forecasting graphics
  • Weather forecast models 101


Live Zoom Webinar

January 9, 2024

7:00 pm to 8:30 pm (Eastern)


Please send questions regarding the seminar to Mark Thornton at Mark@LakeErieWX.com. Please click here to view the speaker's resume.

About The Presenter

Mark Thornton has sailed for more than 30 years and currently owns Osprey, a Mainship 34 Pilot. His interest in weather forecasting grew from his experiences cruising and racing on the Great Lakes. Mark is a 2006 graduate of the Penn State University Certificate of Achievement in Weather Forecasting, a two-year program that develops skills in general, tropical, and severe weather forecasting.

He is the president of LakeErieWX LLC, a company dedicated to providing marine weather education and forecasting resources for recreational boaters (www.lakeeriewx.com). Mark publishes a marine weather blog and teaches basic forecasting seminars to recreational boaters during the off-season. He has served as the Race Meteorologist for the Bayview Mackinac Race since 2014. Mark is also employed as a Teaching Assistant in the Certificate of Achievement in Weather Forecasting Program at Penn State University.