See the wind

March 30, 2012

(This article was first published on Revolutions, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

The image below isn't a bearskin rug in the shape of the USA. It's fact, it's a visualization of the wind flowing over the United States, as of 4PM EDT today, March 30.

You can click through to see the current wind conditions, based on latest data from the National Digital Forecast Database. But more importantly, as long as you have a modern browser like Chrome you'll also see the winds animate. It's quote hypnotic watching the various jetstreams collide and intermingle and interact with geographic features like the Rockies and the Great Lakes. The wind patterns change regularly, as this gallery of past wind maps shows. You can easily create static wind-vector maps in R, but this is one of the somewhat rare cases where adding animation to instantaneous data really benefits the quality of the visualization. wind map

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