Weather and GIS

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Find weather related geographic data and GIS tools.

Google Maps Weather

Google Maps has added a weather layer.  The layer shows current weather conditions and short term weather predictions.  To turn the weather layer on, hover over the overview map in the upper righthand corner and select it from the menu that appears.  Icons show sun, clouds, lightening, etc. to  mark each city along with a temperature reading.   Areas experiencing nightime are shown with a moon icon instead of the sun.  Click on the icon to get an extended five day forecast.  The data is pulled from weather.com.  Zoom out far enough to see the cloud cover layer sourced from U.S. Naval Research Lab.

Severe Weather Map

The Severe Weather Map allows you to view updated U.S. tornado reports, wind storm reports, weather warnings, and precipitation.  The Esri application also pulls in social media related items from Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube.


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The current tornado, wind storm, and severe weather warning data is pulled from NOAA NWS and is updated every 15 minutes.  Also included are recent tornado from the previous few days, also pulled from NOAA NWS.  Precipitation data is pulled from Telvent.

Severe Weather Map

Severe Weather Map from Esri.

Hurricanes and GIS

For hurricane mapping resources, visit the Mapping Hurricanes page.

Weather Data

There is a new iPad weather app available from Accuweather which now includes snow, ice, and rain totals and a toggle button for day/night forecasts.

Armchair Storm Tracking
Thanks to a roundup over on the Google Earth Blog, you can now track upcoming storms on Google Earth.

Climate Prediction Center
Shapefile format data for U.S. drought monitoring support.

National Weather Service GIS Data Portal
Launch page to finding geographic data in mostly shapefile and KML formats.  Access data for current weather, forecast and historical weather.

Wind and GIS
Find resources for the application of GIS in wind mapping, analysis and modeling.

Winter Weather Across the United States

A powerful winter storm swept across the United States on January 15 and January 16, 2007, leaving much of the country under snow and ice. The storm moved from northern Texas, across the Midwest, and into the Northeast. By January 16, when the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this image, the clouds cleared enough to reveal a path of snow across the Midwest. The Intermountain West was also buried in a blanket of white snow, but the Southeast and the East were still covered by a broad band of clouds. More winter weather swamped the Midwest in the days that followed. By January 19, icy roads and other weather-related incidents had claimed 70 lives, reported CNN.

This image of the United States was stitched together from three satellite overpasses. Faint diagonal lines across the image reveal the boundary between each image. The large image provided above has a resolution of one kilometer per pixel.

United States Winter Weater

NASA image courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC.

Bundle up, or not

Climatologists have a new career path: fashion. In an unlikely teaming, apparel companies are adding climatologists to their design teams to help them plan fashions. The change in weather patterns has thrown the expectation of colder weather in winter out the window. With various regions in the United States registering warmer than usual weather in the traditionally colder months, the art of selling clothes is becoming more of a science. Companies such as Liz Claiborne and Target are hiring meteorologists to help them anticipate weather patterns for upcoming seasons and adjust their fabrics to meet temperature conditions. Read more: Meteorologists Shape Fashion Trends – NY Times

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