John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Where in the world is it unbearably hot right now?
You got to give it up for Cameron Beccario for making one of history's most beautiful simulations of the earth's winds. But rather than sit back and lavish in the attention it's generated—including snagging him a cameo on Asian TV—he's been adding more data layers to the model, including a new one he calls the "misery index."
The M.I. "combines wind chill and heat index to show what the air feels like," says the Tokyo-based data artist. In other words, it takes into account how a high relative humidity can make your skin feel like it's covered by a boiling-hot towelette, and how brisk winds in the colder months can blow away all body warmth and make it seem like somebody threw you in an ice chest.
Beccario's model is very close to real time, so all that's happening in the world's most miserable weather is clearly on display. (To turn on the M.I. and other layers, click on "Earth" at lower left.) Look, here's the moist warm front currently wafting over the Unites States' midsection, making temperatures feel as high as 112 degrees:
Spin around to the other side of the globe and you've got scalding heat in the Middle East and northern India, with cooler air pooling around the Himalayas:
And what's this furious knot of wind in the western Pacific? Why that's Typhoon Matmo, a massive storm that just slammed into Taiwan:
H/t Flowing Data