Below the tabs is a horizontal menu bar containing a series of days and "Z" (UTC) times.
(See below for an example.) These refer to the valid day and time of the forecast.
There are two ways to use this bar to access a forecast.
Moving the mouse over
a given time (such as Friday 00Z) will quickly display in the
the forecast valid for that day and time.
on a given time will open a page displaying a
of the particular forecast as well as
options (above the image) to change image types or move backward or forward through
the forecast cycle.
In addition, you will see a "Loop" option on the far right side of this bar. Moving the
mouse over this option will display in the main window
an animation of the latest forecast.
View an example of this animation
If you click on Loop
a Java applet, similar to many others on our site, will load a loop of
the latest forecast. Unlike the simple animation, controls are available on this page to start/stop
the loop or change the animation speed, as well as zoom into a region. In addition, you
have the option of toggling on/off the precipitation and/or fronts/pressures. In October, 2008,
a label was added to the upper right-hand side of the applet which provides a quick reference to the forecast
valid time of each frame (which can be very helpful while in zoom mode).