John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Will it be still as a crypt tomorrow or gusty as a typhoon?
When you go outside later, will you encounter the doldrums or be buffeted like a dollar bill in one of those carnival cash-blowing machines?
To find out, you could check the local weather forecast. Or if you wanted a more sublime, artistic answer, you could visit the wonderful Windyty, a simulation of air currents for today, tomorrow, and several days into the future.
Prague-based developer “Ivo” says he created the map for “kiters, surfers, pilots and anyone else,” the latter group including folks who just want to zone out to pretty shapes and colors. It’s a tribute to an equally mesmerizing model of global atmospheric circulation made a couple years back by engineer Cameron Beccario. Use the slider at the bottom to scan ahead by as many as eight days and watch the winds, depicted as ghostly white streaks, shift direction like migrating milkweed fluff.
The forecasts are based on GFS data updated four times daily. You can assume they’re fairly accurate for two or three days ahead, though making great weather predictions beyond that point is dicey. Still, it’s fun to play around and imagine the looming gales and storms. For instance, what this weekend was a minor disturbance in the Pacific could become a roaring typhoon by June 7:
There might be a major wind-fest off New England next weekend:
And by the end of the week, powerful gusts could develop off northern California, while a lonesome zone of low pressure meanders across southern Colorado: