John Metcalfe is CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, based in Oakland. His coverage focuses on climate change and the science of cities.
Never have deadly storms and scorching temperatures looked so lovely.
To know when it’s about to roar or pour, you could check your favorite app or the National Weather Service. But if you prefer to have your senses dazzled, there’s the whirling, rainbow-streaked world of VentuSky, an animated forecasting model that depicts everything from precipitation to temperature to snow cover.
The free service, developed by the Czech company InMeteo, whips up weather forecasts for up to nine days in advance. (Note predicting that far ahead for things like storm strength and movement can be highly inaccurate.) Its mesmerizing, flowing winds have been done in other weather models, notably Windyty and Cameron Beccario’s Earth, but VentuSky’s various bells and whistles make it a nice addition to the genre. Here’s the monstrous Super Typhoon Nepartak on Wednesday lashing at Taiwan with gusts above 200 mph and a major precipitation bomb:
Red areas in this view of the south and west U.S. indicate a heat wave today, with temperatures in some places above 100:
Predicted cloud cover on Saturday:
Wednesday’s CAPE—“convective available potential energy”—reveals high storm possibilities in the U.S. and along the equator:
You can also make the wind dark, painting the oceans with what looks like the mother of all oil spills:
About why they built VentuSky, the makers write:
The Earth’s weather functions as an interdependent system. For example, a hurricane in the Atlantic has the ability to influence the distribution of pressure formations in Europe. Occasionally, it may even make its way to Europe itself as a post-tropical storm. The VentuSky application allows for the illustration of the interdependence of the entire system, displaying the development of pressure, wind, cloud cover, precipitation, and temperature on the map.
H/t Maps Mania