Interactive: watch the world’s winds swirl across the globe in real time

New visualization uses live weather data to trace weather patterns

Satellites and monitoring equipment station around the world are continually pulling in reams of data that helps scientists learn more about the world. However, it’s not often that the rest of us can get a clear look at this information.

A new interactive map created by software engineer Cameron Beccario of the world’s wind patterns offers exactly this sort of insight, turning data collected by the US National Weather Service’s Global Forecast System into a swirling neon globe.

Click here to see the map for yourself

The map is interactive, and users can click and drag the globe and zoom in and out. It takes a second or two to load up the relevant data, but it’s well worth it – scroll round to the west of the UK to see out the wind that helps propel the Gulf Stream, or head east to look at the powerful storms still blowing off the coast of Japan.

The information is updated every three hours, so offers a near-real time look at global weather - just don't go looking for advice about whether to bring a brolly to work.

Wind Map

The design of the global Wind Map looks like it was inspired by a US-specific interactive produced in 2012. Designers Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg created a black-and-white design that shows the same tendril like patterns swirling over the land.

“An invisible, ancient source of energy surrounds us—energy that powered the first explorations of the world, and that may be a key to the future,” writes the pair on their website. “This map shows you the delicate tracery of wind flowing over the US.”

The Wind Map created by Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg.

Click here to see the US Wind Map

Perpetual Ocean

The grand ancestor of both the Wind Maps above is probably Nasa’s ‘Perpetual Ocean’ – a computer animation rendered from data of the ocean’s currents between 2005 and 2007.

The computation that turned this numerical data into the video below was one of the largest computations of its kind, and according to Nasa offers "realistic study in both the order and the chaos of the circulating waters that populate Earth's ocean."

It also bears an uncanny resemblance to Van Gogh's famous painting The Starry Night, proof, if any were needed, that science and art often offer similar interpretations of the same world.

News
David Beckham
peopleFootballer joins No campaign
Sport
Angel Di Maria
Football
News
Piers Morgan tells Scots they might not have to suffer living on the same island as him if they vote ‘No’ to Scottish Independence
news
News
i100Exclusive interview with the British analyst who helped expose Bashar al-Assad's use of Sarin gas
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Sport
BoxingVideo: The incident happened in the very same ring as Tyson-Holyfield II 17 years ago
Life and Style
Jourdan Dunn gave TopShop’s Unique show some added glamour at London Fashion Week
fashion week
News
Groundskeeper Willie has backed Scottish independence in a new video
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor poses the question of whether we are every truly alone in 'Listen'
tvReview: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode to date
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    QA Manual Tester - Agile

    £300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...

    Sales Account Manager / Account Director

    £40 - 60k (£80 - 120k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A number of Sales Account Manager...

    Service Delivery Manager (Product Manager, Test and Deployment)

    £40000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Service Delivery Manager (Product Ma...

    Senior C++ Developer

    £350 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Senior C++ Developer – L...

    Day In a Page

    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week
    The fall of Rome? Cash-strapped Italy accused of selling its soul to the highest bidder

    The fall of Rome?

    Italy's fears that corporate-sponsored restoration projects will lead to the Disneyfication of its cultural heritage
    Glasgow girl made good

    Glasgow girl made good

    Kelly Macdonald was a waitress when she made Trainspotting. Now she’s taking Manhattan
    Sequins ahoy as Strictly Come Dancing takes to the floor once more

    Sequins ahoy as Strictly takes to the floor once more

    Judy Murray, Frankie Bridge and co paired with dance partners
    Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

    Wearable trainers and other sporty looks

    Alexander Wang pumps it up at New York Fashion Week
    The landscape of my imagination

    The landscape of my imagination

    Author Kate Mosse on the place that taught her to tell stories