Citizen Science – an interactive map of wind visualization and temperature

Nicolas Garcia Belmonte has visualized wind motion in the USA, which I think is quite neat. On his weblog he writes:

I’ve been working on a WebGL data visualization of wind motion patterns for a 72 hour period in the United States.

PhiloGL Wind Motion Patterns

Gathering the data from the National Weather Service was pretty interesting, I didn’t know USA had so many weather stations!

The visualization shows wind direction encoded in line angles, wind speed encoded in line lengths and disk radius, and temperature encoded in hue. All this for about 1200 weather stations across the country.

You can switch between different visual markers from the top menu, also play the wind motion for the 72 hours or select a specific time from the timeline below the graphic.



Try it yourself here: a WebGL data visualization of wind motion patterns

h/t to Warren Meyer


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There’s a usgs site that shows wind patterns over SF Bay.
It is neat.
[Link fixed – willis]

Mike McMillan

Real pretty, but I don’t see the disk and circles as very useful. The lines length version is more akin to what pilots use, and the lines could as easily be colored for temperature. Nit picking on a clever idea. Kudos to Mr Belmonte.

Lance Wallace

Link doesn’t work. Should it be html (not shtml)?
[Seems OK. Robt]

Willis Eschenbach

Interesting, but the graphic display doesn’t provide me with much information. I prefer the method used in the link to the SF Bay streamlines from Alvin W above.


Looks cool, is there a legend? I guess I’m asking if the different colors mean anything?

Hmmm …. got this message:
“Your browser does not support WebGL. Try downloading Google Chrome to see the example.”
From this link:

… I should add: But the video seems to play!

kadaka (KD Knoebel)

Your browser does not support WebGL. Try downloading Google Chrome to see the example.
(BTW, I have tried Google Chrome, I was not impressed, and will Google please get rid of that mini pop-up box on their main page that insistently begs me to try it!)

Agree with previous comments… the old-fashioned maps with simple arrows are more readable.
What I’d really like to find is a convenient way to locate NWS long-term wind records on a monthly basis for any one location or ‘division’. NCDC has excellent temperature and precip charts online, but wind info doesn’t seem to be available in the same way.


This tool is wonderful for storm chasers.
Is that a dry line I see in MO? 🙂

While I’m able to navigate to the page in Firefox, the web page renders with a big black box in the middle and a red “loading” tag in the top right. But nothing shows in the display area.
So taking the cue from one of the previous comments, I tried to go to that page in Google Chrome. I get the message: “Your browser does not support WebGL. Try downloading Google Chrome to see the example.” IN GOOGLE CHROME!
Watts Up With That? 😉


Wow, I just love it, would love to see an analogue 24 hour dial in top left or right to watch for diurnal patterns etc, (or perhaps a 24 hr normal distribution curve type curve !)


Why the phrase “wind motion”???
The term wind already means air in motion. So “wind motion” means the motion of motion!