Synoptic controls on the weather
Atmospheric processes operate over a range of scales from global to micro. The synoptic scale refers to those processes that operate over a spatial scale of hundreds to a few thousand kilometres, with a time scale ranging from a day to about a week. Weather systems of this scale are the most familiar public representation of the atmosphere, as they appear daily in both newspapers and on television. They also tend to be the most relevant for many users of weather information, as people tend to plan their working or leisure activities on the basis of forecasts of synoptic weather activity. They are also of equal significance to both physical and human aspects of the environment, as individual weather systems control such things as the input of rainfall to a catchment, the effect of wind on plants, as well as the well-being of members of the public and the livelihood of such primary producers as farmers and fishers.