Monday, December 16, 2013

Real-time world winds animated map

A visualization of global weather conditions forecast by supercomputers updated every three hours
created by Cameron Beccario (project under MIT license)
animated picture : Dan Stuckey 

This 'real time' app shows wind speeds...and among several map projections.

Above: wind velocities at an altitude of 5,000 meters atop an Atlantis projection

Weather Data | Global Forecast System (GFS model) : NCEP / US National Weather Service / NOAA
(simple bilinear interpolation to fill the gaps)
(with GRIB Decoder | UCAR/Unidata THREDDS)
Geographic Data | Natural Earth
Inspiration | HINT.FM wind map

1000 hPa | ~100 m, surface conditions
 (zoom view via double click)

The "earth" button also offers some options – changing the height (parameterized by pressure: e.g. the high-altitude 10 hPa pressure winds are more uniform, stronger, and red, purple, or even white if too strong), projection of the terrestrial sphere, changing the reference time (yesterday, forecast for tomorrow with date and time in the URL :, UTC vs local time, visualizing your current location (a "cross" closes the local info), and more.
Left-clicking a place (with no dragging) gives you some local wind speed and direction information about the place.

Atmospheric pressure corresponds roughly to altitude
several pressure surfaces are meteorologically interesting
note: 1 hectopascal (hPa) ≡ 1 millibar (mb)

so other layers :
  850 hPa | ~1,500 m, planetary boundary, low
  700 hPa | ~3,500 m, planetary boundary, high
  500 hPa | ~5,000 m, vorticity
  250 hPa | ~10,500 m, jet stream
    70 hPa | ~17,500 m, stratosphere
    10 hPa | ~26,500 m, even more stratosphere

 to beyond the stratosphere : the winds are fast, loopy and quite strange.

Strong Storm in China, Korea and Japan this week-end illustrated by the new viewer

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