The Daily Weather Map has been published continuously for well over a century. It began as the Washington Daily Weather Map in the late 1800s at a time when weather maps were published at most National Weather Service offices (then known as Weather Bureau offices). See an example from 1899. Today it is the sole survivor. At one time these maps were a primary information source to the public. They were published and mailed locally and received by customers the same day while the meteorological information was fresh enough to be used to make decisions. By the mid 1900s, mail service has changed and the Daily Weather Map was generally received by customers the next day. The meteorological information was stale by then and its primary function became that of an archival storage. Recognizing this, the NWS modified the publication and it became weekly in the early 1960s and was reduced in size. While there was no longer any attempt to deliver timely data, the new format was very convenient for archiving. The weekly version was much smaller in format and easy to bind into books or store in a loose-leaf binder. The maps could easily be reviewed by interested individuals and a ready made set of basic weather charts was widely available for illustrations in publications.
The widespread use of the Internet for the distribution of weather information led to changes in the distribution of the Daily Weather Map. Since the main cost in publishing the Daily Weather Map is the cost of printing and distribution, beginning with the first issue published in 2003, the Daily Weather Map has been available for viewing or downloading from the Internet. The Daily Weather Map is also available by subscription, either in electronic format on a quarterly CD or via a weekly paper copy.
More information is available regarding subscriptions.
The printed copy can be downloaded in .pdf format. (coming soon).
The Daily Weather Map is online at the WPC web site. The publication is updated daily during the late morning with the charts from the previous day. The latest surface analyses for today are available on the WPC surface analysis page.