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Introduction:

Since the advent of rawinsonde observations, thermodynamic diagrams have been used to plot sounding data and to assess atmospheric stability. Despite numerous advancements in technology and forecast techniques, the thermodynamic diagram remains an essential tool of today's weather forecaster. However, plotting and analysis of soundings has now extended well beyond traditional rawinsondes to soundings produced by NWP models and remotely sensed satellite observations.

There are several thermodynamic diagrams used for sounding analysis in research and operations in the atmospheric sciences, including the Stüve diagram, the emagram, the tephigram and the skew-T/log-P diagram. This training module focuses on the skew-T/log-P diagram, which has been widely used for over 50 years by operational forecasters in the United States Air Force, Navy, and National Weather Service. Much of the material for this module is drawn from the document The Use of the Skew-T/Log-P Diagram in Analysis and Forecasting (1990) of the Air Weather Service, which has been an essential sounding analysis reference manual for operational forecasters through the years.

Reference: The Use of the Skew-T/Log-P Diagram in Analysis and Forecasting, AWS/TR-79/006, Air Weather Service, Revised March 1990.

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