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Animated map of global weather conditions

Posted: Sep 08, 2014 12:25 pm EDT


(Newsdesk) Success and joy during an expedition are so much dependent on weather conditions. This website by Web developer Cameron Beccario shows an animated map of global weather conditions; Air and Oceans Modes. Earth can be rotated and to some extent any point can be zoomed in. 


The map is a visualization of global weather conditions forecast by supercomputers updated every three hours. Ocean surface current estimates are updated every five days. Ocean surface temperatures and anomaly from daily average (1981-2011) update daily. Anomaly shows how far the temperature is from the average for that day over a 30 year period.


Atmospheric pressure corresponds roughly to altitude; several pressure layers are meteorologically interesting. They show data assuming the earth is completely smooth, explains the site. 


The wind animations can be at sea level or at various upper air levels.


Note: 1 hectopascal (hPa) ≡ 1 millibar (mb)

1000 hPa | ~100 m, near sea level conditions

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 


The "Surface" layer represents conditions at ground or water level. This layer follows the contours of mountains, valleys, etc. Overlays show another dimension of data using color. Some overlays are valid at a specific height, while others are valid for the entire thickness of the atmosphere.


Ocean currents and land can be overlaid with temperatures, and more. Major rivers have been added to the wind map to serve as landmarks.


At the bottom of the animated map, click on the word “earth" and play around with the options.


Some data explanations:

Wind: wind speed at specified height

Temp: temperature at specified height

TPW (Total Precipitable Water):  total amount of water in a column of air stretching from ground to space

TCW (Total Cloud Water):  total amount of water in clouds in a column of air from ground to space

MSLP (Mean Sea Level Pressure): air pressure reduced to sea level

MI (Misery Index): perceived air temperature combined heat index and wind chill.

SST: Sea Surface Temperature

SSTA: Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly (SSTA)

Relative Humidity [%]

Air Density [kg/m3]

Wind Power Density [kW/m2]








The Coldest Place on Earth



#science #polar #mountaineering #air #animatedmap #earthweather #windspeed 





Date: 2014-08-20 15: 21 GMT. Data: Wind at surface. Mode: Air. Height: 1000 hPa Overlay: wind. Seems like the Roaring Forties and the Fifties Furious do their names justice. (click to enlarge)
courtesy Screenshot earth.nullschool, SOURCE
The stratospheric polar vortex is a winter phenomena. This image shows winds at 10 hPa (~26km) over the South Pole on June 10th.
courtesy http://earth.nullschool.net/, SOURCE
Sample visualization of the Misery Index, a combination of wind chill and heat index.
courtesy http://earth.nullschool.net/, SOURCE