Reading the Coded Short Range Forecast Bulletin
The coded bulletin describes the expected locations of high and low pressure centers, surface frontal systems, and surface troughs for the latest short range forecast period. These bulletins are currently generated from the associated graphical forecast charts for all but the final valid time. For pressure centers the strength of the high or low is given in whole millibars and is followed by a string containing the latitude and longitude of the feature precise to the tenths of a degree. The first three digits indicate the latitude in degrees north, while the last four represent the longitude in degrees west. Fronts and troughs are described by a series of latitude and longitude points.
Here's an example of a partial bulletin (Decode this bulletin) :
CODED SURFACE FRONTAL POSITIONS FORECAST
NWS WEATHER PREDICTION CENTER CAMP SPRINGS MD
314 AM EDT FRI APR 08 2011
The header for the coded bulletin. It provides the latest update time of the product.
The valid time of the forecast in the format "YYYYMMDDHH00Z" where:
Note that the Z at the end indicates that this is Zulu or UTC time.
Describes the strength and location of high pressure centers. The first value is the central pressure in millibars. The second value is the location of the feature in latitude and longitude precise to the tenths of a degree. In the example above,
Describes the strength and location of low pressure centers. In this example,
3500750 3440740 3400731
This is a warm front extending from 39.1N 82.6W through 38.4N 82.3W, 37.7N 81.3W, 36.5N 80.4W, 35.9N 78.8W, 35.8N 77.6W, ending at 35.1N 76.5W.TROF 5230772 5100755 4850740
This is a trough extending from 52.3N 77.2W through 51.0N 75.5W, ending at 48.5N 74.0W.COLD 5830871 5690888 5620910 5610935 5630953
This is a cold front extending from 58.3N 87.1W through 56.9N 88.8W, 56.2N 91.0W, 56.1N 93.5W, ending at 56.3N 95.3W.OCFNT 5450915 5300906 5050907 4850918 4670935 4560949
This is an occluded front extending from 54.5N 91.5W through 53.0N 90.6W, 50.5N 90.7W, 48.5N 91.8W, 46.7N 93.5W, ending at 45.6N 94.9W.STNRY 4880910 4820932 4790950 4810970 4780984 4701002 4671022
This is a stationary front extending from 48.8N 91.0W through 48.2N 93.2W, 47.9N 95.0W, 48.1N 97.0W, 47.8N 98.4W, 47.0N 100.2W, ending at 46.7N 102.2W.All possible frontal types are provided in the table below.