Color and Temperature: Perception is everything

Recently I had some of my readers comment that they thought that The Weather Channel and USA Today (which uses TWC graphics) temperature maps seemed to look “hotter”. They suspected that the colors had changed. I tend to watch such things since my own company (IntelliWeather) produces similar maps.

I searched Google images for some saved older TWC maps, but found none. So I can’t be absolutely sure they have or have not changed.  But looking at the color scheme, nothing sticks out in my recollection of the temperature map colors.

But I decided that it would be an interesting exercise to compare USA national temperature maps from the commonly used services today. I saved national CURRENT temperature isotherms/gradient maps from around 03Z (11PM Eastern Time) tonight. All were generated within about an hour of each other.

What I found was surprising. Here they are in alphabetical order:

Intellicast: (probably the ugliest national temp map I’ve ever seen)

IntelliWeather:

NOAA-NWS:

Unisys:

Weather Central:

Weather Channel:

WeatherForYou:

Weather Underground:

A couple of notes on the graphics: The Weather Channel does not show their color key, nor does IntelliCast. From experience it appears the with the exception of the IntelliWeather map, all maps have fixed color schemes. The IntelliWeather map uses a sliding scale of color based on the max and min temps presented in the data. Also, I tried to include AccuWeather, but could not locate a current national temperature map from that company. They had everything else but that.

UPDATE: I decided that even though AccuWeather did not have a CURRENT temperature map, the color and color key on their HIGH TEMPERATURE FORECAST map would suffice for this comparison, since it a similar range of temperatures presented, from (50’s to 90’s) so here it is:

Note the color scale and where the perceived “cooler” colors start on the AccuWeather map.

So what do you think?

Is it just me or does there appear to be a warm bias in the color temperature presentation of the majority of providers shown here? Just an FYI, I designed my color scheme for the IntelliWeather Map in 2001, well before I started blogging, so please no suggestions that I skewed this comparison with my own map color scheme.

Along those lines, I’ll point out that the color choices are usually done either by a meteorologist, or a graphic artist/programmer or both. Usually the color scheme is the result of the input from a couple people. In my case, myself and my graphic artist made the choice. In places like TWC or AccuWeather, the choice may be made initially by one or two then approved by a larger group.

The point I’m trying to make is that each map represents the color and temperature perception of the presenting organization, as I don’t know of any “standard” for map colors used for air temperature presentation. Having said that, somebody will probably put one in front of me that I’ve never known about. 😉

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crosspatch

Accuweather maps are here
From the main page, mouse over Maps on the navigation bar across the top of the page, select Temperature, and then select the map you want.
REPLY: High or low forecast maps, no current temps, been there done that

Rashid Faridi

VERY good post. keep it up.

Leon Brozyna

Warm bias? If you just ‘see’ the colors, it looks like we’re in the midst of a great heatwave with the Unisys map the worst of all, giving an impression of the country in the midst of a great heat wave with temps in the mid-90s {just from the heat generated by the colors}. The NOAA map looks most realistic, with the greens feeling comfortable. I like their color scale the most. Pity we can’t see a pre-AGW color map.

papertiger

What a bunch of weasels. Cheap bunch of propagandistic, Karl Marx worshipping, goosesteppers, bent on turning the weather into their vehicle to ultimate power.
Nice find Anthony. This post is just the ticket I need to turn some youngsters from the darkside over on the pages of the Bee.

Tell you the truth, the pictures are kind of scary, especially since you lined all those red maps one after the other.
For IntelliMap, I wonder why you choose to display entire band of purple, green, blue, red rather than have the map color reflect the color chart of the current temperature. Wouldn’t that make more sense?
Sylvia
REPLY: No I don’t think it would, because then you can never see at a glance where cool areas are. Just look at all the other maps. A sliding color scale makes more sense to me, but what the heck do I know?

G Alston

You may want to check with USA today. As far as I know they were among the first for a colour printed national paper with a weather temp map in every issue. Let’s see if they changed from their inception to now…

Actually, I like your map the best – the Intelliweather one. And I’m not kissing ass either. I have no stake in it. I like the sliding scale because you can tell at a glance how the air is moving across/over the country.
As for the rest (all but the Intelliweather and the NOAA), it’s like they’ve added gradations of more oranges to make anything above 50 seem like a heat wave.

Serendipitron

Historical maps for some of these weather sites are available from the Wayback Machine at this site.
http://www.archive.org/index.php
Go to the site, enter the appropriate URL in the field provided, and you will get links to corresponding archived web pages arranged by date. For example, by entering the following URL
http://www.wunderground.com/US/Region/US/2xTemperature.html
I was able to view an archived copy of Weather Underground’s national temperature map from August 15, 2000.
For the weather channel I entered this URL
http://www.weather.com/maps/maptype/currentweatherusnational/uscurrenttemperatures_large.html
Clicking on the resulting links for the Weather Channel’s archived web pages were not consistent. Some of them took me to today’s map, which immediately went blank. However, the Feb 15, 2001 link took me to a map for June 3, 2001.
Have a look and see what you think.

Stephen Richards

The problem with all temperature maps comes down to whether you want to show temps relative to each other, relative to the season or relative to the norm.
Hence @ accuweather it’s all red (season), at yours it appears to be each other and TWC and the rest seasonal. (IMHO)
It’s extremely difficult thing to do because many people find the change in colour shades a little awkward to percieve accurately.
never the less they are all good a

Pierre Gosselin

My personal assessment:
I) SUMMARY
BEST – most non-manipulative, accurately conveying:
WeatherForYou, (just recolour Mex and Can!).
Then followed by Weather Channel
WORST – most misleading and blurred
Unysis
Environ-Stalinist’s favorite:
Unysis and then Accu-Weather
Country looks red-hot and oven-dried!!
(Water! water! – I need water!…gasp! arghhh!…)
AGW dissenter’s favorite:
Intelliweather and NOAA
(Brrrrr! – take a jacket!)
Wettest looking map:
NOAA
(I get an April showers feeling)
Dryest looking map:
Unysis, then followed by AccuWeather and Weather Underground.
Country looks hot, baked and dried
Most boring map:
Accu-Weather, then Weather Underground, Unysis and NOAA
Prettiest:
IntelliWeather
Ugly Duckling:
Intellicast
II) GENERAL COMMENTS with school grades:
Intellicast:
You really have to concentrate and “read” it to discern the area temperatures. And you’re right: it’s ugly ugly ugly! Grade: C-
Intelliweather:
Pretty, but the colour scheme makes you think it’s wintertime in the North, and only springtime in the south. At first glance it misleads the reader into thinking it’s cool outside. Grade: B
NOAA-NWS:
Looks springlike and wet. It’s similar to Intelliweather’s…misleads the reader into thinking it’s “cool” outside, and no numbers. Grade C
Unisys:
Looks like someone dropped a nuclear HOT bomb on it. It’s got to be the favourite of the AGW loons, as it makes the whole country look like it’s red-hot everywhere. I feel thirsty all of a sudden! Grade: D-
Weather Central:
Looks neither hot nor cold. In fact you’d think the temperature variations nationwide are minimal. Grade: B-
Weather Channel:
Although not the prettiest, it’s probably the one that conveys what the temperature really is like outside. The numerical temps make this map almost impossible to misread, or to be misinterpreted. Grade B+
(Use a different colour for Mex and Can!)
WeatherForYou:
Also conveys what the temperature really is like outside, without exaggerating one way or the other. The numerical temps make this map almost impossible to be misinterpreted too. Grade A-
Weather Underground:
Also has a good graphic scheme that doesn’t mislead the reader. At first glance I neither get a frigid nor sizzling feeling. But no numbers or conditions, and it’s boring. Grade C
AccuWeather:
It’s high temp-map colour scheme uses only red and orange. It gives me a hot and dry feeling. I think temps in the 60s and 70s ought to be represented by greener tones, No numbers, no conditions. Grade: D+

Pierre Gosselin

Good post Anthony!
This one was fun!

Mike Bryant

I never thought that anyone could “spin” the weather. Silly me.

Chris Hanley

The use of graphics to mislead lay-people (like me) has been explored by John Brignell at Number Watch.
http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/chartmanship.htm
The use of a colour spectrum from blue (cool & calm) to red (hot & bothered) is used extensively, even by ostensibly respectable sources.
http://www.bom.gov.au/cgi-bin/silo/reg/cli_chg/timeseries.cgi?variable=tmean&region=aus&season=0112

Mike Ross

Here is a site for Japan:
http://www.jma.go.jp/jp/amedas/

Dell

Great point, from looking at the various maps, it is pretty obvious that although the temps are basically the same across all the maps, the ones from sources “pushing AGW agenda” tend to have more traditional hotter colors.
I have used links to your intelliweather maps in some local discussion boards with the twist on the “blue vs red states” to show where the cooler weather is.
Keep up the great work.
P.S. Anthony, I’m working on an article concerning that I call “The Great Trans-Siberian Heat Wave” and how the supposed recent “global warming” in northern Asia is basically driving average global temps, especially GISS. What would I need to do to submit that for consideration for posting on your website?
REPLY: Send it via email, see my email address coming to your inbox. One requirement to have it published: you have to use your real name. I won’t allow any publication under cowardly non de plumes.

Tom Bruno

If I recall correctly, TWC uses (or did use) different color maps for summer and winter. In winter highs in the 70’s are red and 60’s are yellow, in summer 90’s are red and 80’s are yellow. However, I do not watch TWC anymore, our cable system has 24 hr weather and I use links to local doppler radar and tropical weather updates. Since I now live in Florida, I really don’t care what the weather is anywhere else where as before when I lived in New England I was always interested in the Florida weather.

Austin

Most of the weather agncies sell ads, not weather news.
If a summertime temp map has a lot of blue on it ( and I do think 60 degrees is cold for a summer high ) then how can you have an ad for Lemonade or a new AC unit?
Ditto for winter temps.

Stevie B

I LOVE this entry. I’ve been pointing this out to my friends for over a year and was wondering if I was going crazy. Apparently not! Entries like this are why I check this page every day…keep it up!

Frank K.

This is an interesting comparison. One thing that sticks out to me is the large amount of smoothing that’s done with most of these maps. Compare, for example, the NOAA temperature map (the most highly resolved of the set) with the weatherunderground’s map. If you compare the temperatures in California, you see the detail in the NOAA map shows the cooler temperatures in the mountains, hotter temperatures in the desert areas, etc. This is totally missed in the weatherunderground map. In fact, I would venture to say that the weatherunderground map is misleading, and thus wouldn’t view it as an accurate quantitative presentation.
In addition, I think all of the maps should have a color bar which shows the relationship between the colors and the temperature. Otherwise, the contours presented are truly useless, and only give us an qualitative, approximate view of actual temperatures. Of course, we could talk about what the “actual” temperature really is, but that would lead us back to the surface stations project, right? :^).
Keep up the good work, Anthony.
Frank K.

DAV

I dunno. The only time I look at a national temperature chart is when I’m travelling and then I want to know how the temperature ‘there’ compares to ‘here’. As such, I would find it confusing if it turned out that 85 and 90 degrees were depicted much differently. Other than that, I could care less about how nice (or not) the temperatures are in Boise, ID or where the best golfing/sailing/suntanning is today. It’s not like I’m about to jump into my Gulfstream for some early afternoon fun and just need to know where.
Frankly, I find these far more useful even when I’m not flying. Once upon a time, similar displays were used on even TV weather forecasts.
But I realize I’m an exception. Most people just want to ‘know’ tomorrow’s temperature and chance of precip.

Mike Bryant

8 of 9 look hotter.

Lee Ragsdale

I have struggled with this concept myself. I used to work on a energy trading floor and discussed visualization with our meteorologists on a regular basis. On the temperature maps, they would produce a map that was only shades of blue andred, but would keep the color consistent across the year – I liked the consistency, but thought the rest of the color spectrum should be used as well.
This and the it references discuss the idea of perception of color and the impact in visualization. Sounds like it would be good read for meteorologists.

Lee Ragsdale

I have struggled with this concept myself. I used to work on a energy trading floor and discussed visualization with our meteorologists on a regular basis. On the temperature maps, they would produce a map that was only shades of blue andred, but would keep the color consistent across the year – I liked the consistency, but thought the rest of the color spectrum should be used as well.
This blog post at Flowing Data and the paper it references discuss the idea of perception of color and the impact in visualization. Sounds like it would be good read for meteorologists.

Robert Ray

At first glance when you see green on temperature map do you think of a comfortable temperature, no heating or cooling needed, or the temperature inside of your refrigerator?
IMO the NOAA-NWS is the best of the bunch, a good combination of regional detail and readability. (Sorry Anthony)

BarryW

I don’t believe I’m saying this, but I like the NOAA color scheme. I think most people would see 70 deg temps as optimal, and green is a “good” color (green grass, green = go, green = ok). I can look at that map and see where I would be hot, or where I would want a jacket.

counters

I’ve noticed this before too, Anthony. I think it’s just mostly arbitrary to what the mapmakers think looked “pretty.” The biggest thing, in my opinion, is that the map should help very easily communicate where the extremes or dangerous temperatures are – so for instance, the ones which differentiate 100+ degree Fahrenheit temperatures with a color such as purple are the best ones. It’s important that the general public be aware when there is dangerous weather around; I think TWC’s map does the best job of communicating this information.
The issue with the color scales doesn’t seem to be limited to temperature, though; there is the same issue with precipitation. Whenever we’d have severe wx at home, I’d usually tune to the local meteorologist who had the most dynamic colors, because it was always exciting seeing where the really dark reds and purples were heading. Note that on WeatherTap, the RadarLab HD has the option of using several different color sliders for precipitation.
A warm bias? I’m not too sure. There is no universal standard that I’m aware of, but I’d be willing to bet that these graphical representations have been in play a long time, before much of the politicization of modern global warming came around. I could be wrong, though.

WWS.

Interesting to see how many schemes have been tried. I react to them a little differently, which I agree is simply a matter of taste: I much prefer a constant color/temperature match, rather than a sliding, relative scale. I like to be able to compare December and June on the same scale, and thus using the full spectrum to cover all concievable temperature ranges makes sense to me. On that basis, I most prefer the Weather Central color scheme, although I would bump it up by one shade. (40’s are not a “green” feel to me, I put that at getting pretty damn cold. But then I like hot weather.) You’re right about that intellicast map; that is just butt-ugly. And I think Weather Underground (do they have a meteorologist names Ayres?) and Weather For You have made an error by adding white and pink to the top of their temperature scale. This is not an accurate spectrum at all, and serves only to push the reds and oranges farther on down the temperature scale.
Accuweather has too narrow a temperature scale and too few colors on it. This makes their map look like a childs crayon drawing – annoying at best.

Joe S

I like the color band and detail of the NOAA chart. I get lots of information at a glance. Note the cool light blue that outlines the Smoky Mountains in west North Carolina. Wish I could get up there and cool off a little bit.
What seems reasonable to me is red=dangerous opressive heat, yellow=caution, green=pleasant. At the bottom of the band, purple seems the right color for what could be called dangerous cold.
Anthony, your chart, while not as detailed as NOAA’s, looks to have the color band where it ought to be.

Interesting issue. Perhaps the thing to do is take the daily national average and make that be the neutral color (i.e. between cool and warm). That way the south will almost always have warm colors and the north cool, a theme that all of the maps have, even though some of the maps may be using an annual average.
You could also display the anomaly from average, but then you’d have lots of days with hot colors in perhaps the northeast cold in the northwest or great plains. At least the fronts and precip would show up.
I see Unisys has a scale from 45 to 100, but I bet that just reflects the range on the map. I don’t know if the change the color to temperature mapping over the year, probably not. In fact, for them, I’d recommend they not change it over the year.

Richard Wright

I llike NOAA’s the best for two reasons. Green, a psychologically pleasant color, represents the ideal temperature range for people – the 70’s. Second, it doesn’t have a sliding scale, so green always represents the ideal temperature range. Psychologically, all the colors make sense. Red is hot – red is associated with fire and burns. Blue and purple represent cold – associated with frost bite. When one measures color temperature (like for computer monitors) warm colors are reddish and cool colors are bluish. To me NOAA’s is the most intuitive.

Tom Braunlich

Reminds me of Al Gore’s movie, in which satellite images of Katrina showed the the Gulf of Mexico as red, as if it was boiling hot.
Clearly the NOAA and IntelliWeather maps seem a lot cooler than the others based on the psychology of the colors. The big question is, have these organizations changed their color schemes in recent years in such a way as to make them appear hotter.

Brendan

I’ve worked a lot with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and I can state that all the maps are badly presented. I’ve thought this before when looking at random maps over the last several years (I don’t often look at them since I don’t care what nationwide temps are – usually just city temps). A map should give the reader ata glance the most informative means of assessing data. When you have a range that goes from A-Z, there’s a lot of distinguishing characteristics. When your range is X-Z, not so much. Finer detail of colors, with the numbers as guides, gives you a better idea of the distribution. If you’re going to use a fixed scale, NOAA uses the best one – they almost certainly look at historical ranges for the day of publication and use that for their overall color scheme. Its probably the one that I would use if I was setting up a automated scheme.

Brendan

Well, not all – but the ultrared ones that show “50” as orange-red are obviously shown to give a general impression – one of heat…

Colors in a chart or map are meant to be informative. The scales that many of these use, only let us know it summer, and we already know that.
The modern American mind is accustomed to thinking of green as comfortable, so the green scale should be somewhere around 70 F.
The majority of these maps show either a warm bias by the creators, or complete ignorance/laziness. These days, it’s probably a toss up.

statePoet1775

All that is needed is flames coming out of the hotter regions.

blcjr

Using wayback like Serindipitron did indicates that the color schemes were the same back in 2001. I think either NOAA’s or Intelliweather’s are the best. Visually, I like the full range of colors we get with Intelliweather’s. Notionally, I think NOAA’s is the most “accurate,” i.e., in it we do not get to dark blue — which for me represents “cold” — until temperature is in the 40’s and 50’s, whereas with Intelliweather we’ve got Winnipeg dark blue at 70. Give me some of that Winnipeg “cold weather” any time!
The Unisys map is just plain backwards: darker colors for warmer weather?
I don’t there there’s an “AGW bias” here, just some questionable judgment in the color schemes. I think most people would associate blue with cold, green with mild, yellow with warm, and red with hot. Both Intelliweather and NOAA approach this the best. The main difference I see between them is that Intelliweather’s bands are not as wide, or as graduated, as NOAA’s. I think NOAA’s might be the most “accurate” in matching the colors to “cold–>hot” but I like Intelliweather’s also. The others are too “hot.” But I don’t think it was an intentional decision to emphasize global warming.
Basil

JP

There is definitly a warm bias in the presentation of temperatures. I noticed most media outlets will use “warm colors” only in thier temp depictions. Rarely do you see a combination of warm and cool colors based upon seasonal averages. For the unitiated it does appear that the nation is baking under AGW induced heat waves.
Another thing I noticed with a few weather companies, is the warm bias in thier long range forecasts (usually 7-15 days out). For my location I kept a record of the 15 day forecast temps and compared them to the actual recorded highs. This was done for Winter, Spring, and now Summer. In each case, the forecast was averaged 5-8 degrees F too warm. Never was the forecast too cold -which is strange if one considers that occaisonally the models will over forecast a cold front or its timing.
One other thing I noticed is that during the summer months, most forecast agencies under forecast cloud cover. In the half dozen tests I performed I found that when the short range forecasts were too high the main reason was the agency under-forecasted cloud cover.
Have things gotten so bad that even forecasters are now fudging thier forecasts in order to pay homage to AGW? Or are thier skills really that bad?

Bill in Vigo

I like Intelliweather and NOAA the best. I am about 70% color blind and most of the maps I can’t see that much difference. but you add the blue colors to the maps and I see much better. I don’t know who does the maps for “The Weather Company” from Birmingham Alabama I think headed up by James Spann but their maps are very good.
I agree with Stephen Richards in that the color scheme seems to change with the seasons to reflect what they think we are supposed to feel. Summer hot. Winter cold. After all weather is news and to get readers/audience you must have sensational News. In the summer it means lots and lots of red hues and in the winter lots and lots of white and blue.
l think that lots of this is controlled by market share and MONEY but some are more stable and less sensational than others.
Last thing for me and my color blindness it would be nice to have the colors in good contrast with possibly a line between bands to help these tired eyes.
Just my two cents.
Bill Derryberry

leebert

I prefer the NOAA-NWS map. It’s absolute regardless of season.
That’s the most sensible approach since 60 degrF in Anchorage or Miami feels the same (well, except to Miamians, who start dying when temperatures dip into the 40’s).

sravana

I like your intelliweather map (so soothing!), but I think that NOAA’s is the most descriptive, with 50s being blue (vs. yellow on weather underground) – it also has the most detail, vs. huge blocks of color on the orange maps.

Chris

Anthony,
I have always wondered about the spread of colors in the IntelliWeather map. For example, in the IntelliWeather map shown above, why is NY in blue at 75 F and NM orange at 76 F? Similarly, why is Montreal deep blue at 76 F and LA is yellow at 67 F? Are other temperatures surrounding these cities that determine color so that the temperatures of these large cities are not representative of the region? I’ve noticed this mish-mash of colors is worse during the summer than during the winter. I’m assuming it’s likely a programming thing. By the way, one day I do plan to purchase the IntelliWeather software.
REPLY: It is automatically smoothed, we apply a gradient rather than isotherms, and if only a couple of datapoints exist in an area that are significantly different (like NM mountains) then it will be averaged out.
Our map was designed for TV use, so it was a choice mostly for the low-res NTSC signal.

BarryW

If I had to critique your colors I would only broaden the green range somewhat so that it covered most of the “comfortable” zone of temp ranges.

SteveSadlov

Many in NW Europe would consider anything over 70 deg F to be “hot.” For me, it’s anything over 90 deg F (I live in one of the “cooler” parts of the SW US). For those who live inland from me, 100 deg F is where “hot” begins.
You can see where problems may arise in these color schemes.

Pamela Gray

I’m an NOAA junkie. Have been for years. I hate sliding scales. A lot of what goes on in NE Oregon depends on the temperature. Not the sliding scale kind but measured temperature. On a sliding scale, just because its green doesn’t mean the temp is right for planting. On a non-sliding scale, green means go. Blue means prepare for possible freezing or cows going dry on fall calves (just like us human moms, it’s hard to feed babies when the teats are cold). The color also immediately tells us if we should harvest. Warm colors tell us its time to check the moisture content of hay to see if we can cut it without it rotting. So for us farmers and ranchers, sliding color scales don’t mean squat.

Anthony– Do your color meanings change with the seasons? Because 52 is cool in summer, but hot in winter.
I think for weather news for the US on television, changing colors with the seasons is sort of good. After all, if it’s 60 in January in Chicago, I consider that “war”. But I consider 60 in July “cool”. When watching television, I know the date, and know I’m thinking “in the US”, and I automatically calibrate for the season.
In that context, as in indication of whats warm or cold today, your map is much, much better than UNISYS’s map which makes it appear the midwest is experiencing infernal heat. (I’ll be mowing the lawn today after it dries a bit. I can assure you I will not feel over heated.) In fact as a quick look at “weather in the US, today”, Itelliweather is the best.
(For tv weather reporting this month, your map tells “the truth” relative to what I think viewers want to know best. The next best is NOAA– which is not designed for TV! )
I think the NOAA maps are best for their intended purposes. These maps getused for different things– comparing Jan to July etc. So, I think their colors are best for illustrating seasonal variations. If you need to pick a stable color, green for 70 is perfect. 70 is close to the temperature people prefer when setting A/C or heating. June in Chicago is beatiful– and NOAA is showing that!
Honestly, I think intellicast is the worst map in all possible ways:
* the colors are hideous. (Did they add grey to those? They are all depressing shades of red/orange/blue green.)
* it’s too busy. The superposition of the lines to mark 5 degree increments makes it too busy. (And there is no way I would see which likes are 70 vs 75 or 80 watching that on tv. I have a hard time on the screen.)
* right now, Chicago looks “hot”. That’s wrong for tv weather casting and for a newspaper. In my opinion, it’s on the cool side of perfect. (I like warmer weather than most people and think 85 is perfect. My brothers in law think it’s on the warm side of perfect. They like 65.)
REPLY: The IntelliWeather scale is relative to the data, the color remains the same through the seasons, but you’ll see less oranges/reds in winter and more cool blues and violets. When a cold wave hits, you’ll see it coming.
I also offer an animation with isopleths, see this:
http://www.intelliweather.net/imagery/intelliweather/templine_nat_640x480_img.htm
Note how the you can watch the cooldowns and warmups. Hard isotherms don’t animate well for TV.

Ben

My first thought was “you can tell who made these”.
NOAA was made by someone from the southwest, maybe a Texan. Why? Because they don’t show warm weather as hot (face it, y’all, if it’s under 90, it’s cool outside).
Unisys and WeatherUnderground have to be made by Alaskans. They are worthless in the summer, but display ranges of cold.
I don’t think it’s deliberate, but more of a reflection of culture and what they consider normal.

John Nicklin

Ok, I’m looking at the IntelliWeather map (above) and I’m confused. It’s 52 degrees in Moosonee, Ontario which shows some purple colour indicating Cool. It’s 56 degrees in San Francisco where the colour is green/blue indicating mild to warm. And its 64 degrees in Seattle where the colour is the same as Moosonee. Boise (80) seems to be in the same colour zone as Los Angeles (67).
Do the colours mean anything? The map seems to indicate that 67 degrees in Great Fall is much cooler than 67 degrees in LA. No wonder people from the southern USA are disappointed when they come to Canada in the summer and don’t find any snow. ;^)
REPLY: Try this version: http://www.intelliweather.net/imagery/intelliweather/templine_nat_640x480_img.htm

Patrick Henry

Over here in Northern Colorado we have been bright red on NOAA maps all through June, yet the weather has been very mild to cool. The only “hot” weather we have had was last night ahead of a cold front. “Hot” being mid-70s at 11:00 pm. Today is back to cool and breezy.

John Nicklin

Thanks, that chart shows overnight temperatures which were admittedly cooler. It does indicate that it was downright frigid in the Vancouver, BC region where it was about 52F last night while at the same time it was just mild(ish) in Winnipeg (54F).
I suppose it all depends on where your personal set point is. I was recently in Peru, it was about 25C to 32C during the day, we were walking around in shorts, the locals were wearing sweaters and parkas.
Here’s the Canadian take on colour http://www.theweathernetwork.com/weathermaps/.
From my vantage point, I don’t see how the colours help. I’d rather see a map with no colour, just the temperature readings. I can decide for myself whether its warm or cold.
The colours on the IntelliWeather charts are much more pleasing to the eye than the other charts though.

DAV

That’s the most sensible approach since 60 degree in Anchorage or Miami feels the same (well, except to Miamians, who start dying when temperatures dip into the 40’s).

Which Miami are you talking about?
I stopped at an airport just north of Daytona one February (many miles north of Miami) and had lunch with a friend of mine who had taken a job there as airport operations manager only a year before. He was wearing an undershirt, a flannel shirt, a sweater and a ski jacket. When it came time to leave, I was invited to use the phone in his office to call flight service so i wouldn’t have to “stand outside in the cold.” In his office were three running quartz space heaters. The outside temperature was 75F.
When I left MD that morning it was in -5F weather. Needless to say, I didn’t think 75F was “cold.” S’all relative I suppose.