Mapbox

This visualization of #Snowzilla’s path certainly does look like destructive, radioactive breath sweeping across the nation.

As of this writing, a solid inch of snow has fallen on Washington, D.C., quick work for weather that only arrived two hours ago. Ten, 20, possibly 30 more inches of snow may be on the way, depending on how badly this blizzard wants to make history.

The hope here is that Jonas (or #SnowNiño or whatever we’re calling it) doesn’t break all records. While the official verdict will be measured by total accumulation and top wind speeds, there are a couple of ways to look at this “textbook” storm. Two developers and cartographers at Mapbox, Damon Burgett and Ian Villeda, created a map visualization that shows one way the blizzard is sweeping the nation.  

Using forecast date from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s High-Resolution Rapid Refresh Model, the map depicts the “water equivalent accumulated snow depth”—essentially, the total volume of water predicted in all that snowfall. The animation is mesmerizing.

The graphic (and data) models the predicted water equivalent of accumulated snow depth from Thursday at midnight through Saturday at 2:00 p.m. It’s a staggering amount of precipitation.

On a purely visual basis, this animation makes the best case for calling the storm #Snowzilla, as it looks just like Japan’s favorite son’s destructive radioactive breath sweeping across the country. It also demonstrates the incredible scope of the storm, which is expected to touch down on at least 15 states.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: subway in NYC
    Transportation

    Inside Bloomberg's $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan

    Drawing on his time as New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg proposes handing power and money to urban leaders as part of his Democratic presidential bid.

  2. Transportation

    In Paris, a Very Progressive Agenda Is Going Mainstream

    Boosted by big sustainability wins, Mayor Anne Hidalgo is pitching bold plans to make the city center “100 percent bicycle” and turn office space into housing.

  3. Design

    Why Amsterdam’s Canal Houses Have Endured for 300 Years

    A different kind of wealth distribution in 17th-century Amsterdam paved the way for its quintessential home design.

  4. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

  5. Environment

    Neighborhoods With a History of Redlining Are Hotter on Average

    Housing discrimination during the 1930s helps explain why poorer neighborhoods experience more extreme heat.

×