Guide to weather symbols

The above is a typical simplified weather symbol from a chart of weather observations. Let’s look at some other symbols which you may come across when looking at weather reports.

Wind speed: the Beaufort Scale.

A table rating wind of speed

In addition to showing the speed of the wind, the direction the tail is pointing in gives the wind direction: in all the weather symbols above, the wind direction is north-easterly, ie from the north east.

Cloud cover

Cloud cover is measure in Oktas, or how many eighths of the sky is cloudy.

Alt text

Precipitation:

Alt text

You can find more information about how both manual and automatic weather station observations are recorded on the MetLink website.

Share this article:

This article is from the free online course:

Come Rain or Shine: Understanding the Weather

University of Reading