|DEFINING CHART, PANEL, PROG,|
ANALYSIS, IMAGE, MODEL, etc.
METEOROLOGIST JEFF HABY
Many of these terms are used interchangeable and are grouped together. At times this is okay and at other times
it is incorrect. This essay aims at defining each of these terms and informing on which ones are synonyms and which
ones are not.
A chart is a generic term to describe the graphical or numerical labeling of meteorological data. The
following are called charts: DIFAX displays,
thermodynamic indice displays and many other displays of meteorological
variables (surface chart, any upper level chart, dewpoint chart, temperature chart, etc.). The term chart should NOT
be used when referring to output from a forecast model (unless it is via DIFAX).
The term panel can be used when
referring to model progs. Panels are often in reference to 4-panels or any time several "windows" of model output
are next to each other, such as a time sequence of model output.
The word prog is a short version of the word
prognostication. ALL model images that show a future state of the atmosphere are termed progs.
An analysis is
the most recent current conditions of the atmosphere. Analysis is combined with the word chart (analysis chart)
to show a current display of meteorological variables. Analysis is combined with the word prog (analysis prog)
to show the zero hour display of model data. The term initialization is BETTER to use than the term "analysis
prog" (oxymoron) because analysis means "current" and prog means "future state".
The term image is used in
reference to the graphical display of model data or graphical displays from satellite and radar data. Any
computer-generated graphic can be called an image.
The term model should only be used in reference to model output.
A diagnostic analysis is the current state of some meteorological parameter. These words are close
synonyms: panel, prog, model. These words/terms are close synonyms: chart, diagnostic, analysis chart, diagnostic
analysis, diagnostic analysis chart (although too redundant).
Try to avoid:
(1) calling model output (especially colored graphics) a chart (call it a prog)
(2) referring to zero hour model output as a prog or analysis prog (it is an initialization or sometimes
referenced as just plain analysis)
(3) calling an analysis chart an initialization (initialization is only for zero-hour model data).