Weather Monitoring

Copyright © 2014 Cameron Beccario - Published under license by courtesy of Cameron Beccario

You can change the map's readings by clicking on the word "earth" here-above. This globe shows a current real-time and past visualization of earth's global:

  • weather conditions forecast by supercomputers updated every three hours
  • ocean surface current estimates updated every five days
  • ocean surface temperatures and anomaly from daily average updated daily
  • ocean waves updated every three hours

A number of different projections allow you to observe this earth's visualization from your favorite point of view:

  • Atlantis | an oblique version of Mollweide's projection, where meridians are ellipses
  • Azimuthal Equidistant | distances from center are conserved. Used by the USGS in the National Atlas of the United States of America
  • Conic Equidistant | distances along meridians are conserved, as is distance along one or two standard parallels
  • Equirectangular | simplest geometry; distances along meridians are conserved
  • Orthographic | view from an infinite distance
  • Stereographic | map is infinite in extent with outer hemisphere inflating severely, so it is often used as two hemispheres
  • Patterson projection
  • Waterman Butterfly | projects the globe onto a truncated octahedron with symmetrical components and contiguous land masses that may be displayed in various arrangements
  • Winkel Tripel | arithmetic mean of the equirectangular projection and the Aitoff projection. Standard world projection for the NGS 1998–present

Atmospheric pressure corresponds roughly to altitude. Several pressure layers are meteorologically interesting. They show data assuming the earth is completely smooth. 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.

  • Wind | wind speed at specified height
  • Temp | temperature at specified height
  • RH (Relative Humidity) | amount of moisture in the air compared to what the air can "hold" at that temperature
  • WPD (Instantaneous Wind Power Density) | instantaneous quantitative measure of the wind energy available at any location
  • 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
  • 3HPA (3-hour Precipitation Accumulation) | amount of precipitation over the next three hours
  • CAPE (Convective Available Potential Energy from Surface) | indicates the buoyancy of air, a measure of atmospheric instability and predictor of severe weather
  • MSLP (Mean Sea Level Pressure) | air pressure reduced to sea level
  • MI (Misery Index) | perceived air temperature as combination of heat index and wind chill
  • SST (Sea Surface Temperature) | temperature of the ocean surface
  • SSTA (Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly) | difference in ocean temperature from daily average during years 1981-2011
  • HTSGW (Significant Wave Height) | roughly equal to mean wave height as estimated by a "trained observer"
  • COsc (Carbon Monoxide Surface Concentration) | the fraction of carbon monoxide present in air at the earth's surface
  • CO2sc (Carbon Dioxide Surface Concentration) | the fraction of carbon dioxide present in air at the earth's surface
  • SO2sm (Sulfur Dioxide Surface Mass) | amount of sulfur dioxide in the air near the earth's surface
  • DUex (Dust Extinction) | the aerosol optical thickness (AOT) of light at 550 nm due to dust
  • SO4ex (Sulfate Extinction) | the aerosol optical thickness (AOT) of light at 550 nm due to sulfate