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Take A Look At The Coolest Wind Map Ever

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"Take A Look At The Coolest Wind Map Ever"

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Ever wonder what the wind really looks like? Turns out Vincent Van Gogh wasn’t far off when he painted Starry Night.

The folks at Many Eyes, an experimental visualization company funded by IBM, have released an amazing map showing how the wind moves across the country in real time. Upon a quick glance, it’s easy to see why all the wind farms are being built in the Midwest, Northwest and Northeast.

Click on the map to see the interactive version. It’s hard to take your eyes away.

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7 Responses to Take A Look At The Coolest Wind Map Ever

  1. prokaryotes says:

    Well it appears to me that this is just a “snapshot”. Conclusion about best wind locations are probably local height and local environmental setup (forest, skyscrapers or mountains which would change winds). Basically wind is available everywhere, but due to local setup distributed differently in magnitude. However, spots for wind farms are best when there is no interference of winds, ie. open landscape or water.

  2. Sasparilla says:

    Thanks Stephen, that is a very cool map (click the map folks and watch what the live action wind is doing).

    It is very “entrancing”…

    If you look carefully you can see where some of the Lows (wind rotates counterclockwise around them) and Highs (wind rotates clockwise around them) are.

  3. michael allen says:

    Luv It!

  4. Tom King says:

    This leads to so many questions. And the best way to answer these questions would be a set of overlay screens. What a fantastic teaching tool this would be if it incorporated…

    1.) Air pressure overlay (I know, I know… ‘barometric’): Where the winds converge is there a high pressure or low pressure point? (I would guess low.)
    2.) Cloud overlay: Where the winds converge is it cloudy or sunny? Or are these events more an affect of wind speed?
    3.) Rain overlay: Might show something slightly different than #2.
    4.) Temperature overlay:
    5.) Temperature change overlay.
    6.) Jet stream overlay

    • Tom King says:

      I forget the most important sets of all:
      7.) Climate change overlays.
      7a.) Change in average temp.
      7b.) Change in average precip.
      7c.) Change in average windspeed.

  5. Jay Alt says:

    Delayers and obstructionists frequently bring up the intermittent nature of wind and solar. The map suggests today’s wind resource is spinning turbines nearly everywhere.
    The URL is worth saving, if only to make that point.

  6. Susan Anderson says:

    You might also like to take a look at this Earth Observatory “Winds of Drought, Winds of Flood”:
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=46145

    Comparison with water vapor animations is also instructive:
    http://weather.unisys.com/satellite/sat_wv_hem_loop-12.gif

    and a variety at Rutgers, of which I’ve chosen CONUS this time (the Northern Hemisphere WV animation is awesome, but too fast, centered on the North Pole). The regular IR ones are related as well:
    http://synoptic.envsci.rutgers.edu/site/sat/sat.php?sat=conus&url=../imgs/wv_conus_anim.gif