Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/12/19/earth_wind_maps/

Hypnotic wind map captures Earth's heavenly currents

Warning: Live weather show may prove addictive

By Lester Haines

Posted in SPB, 19th December 2013 10:03 GMT

Those readers slumped behind their desks in the traditional pre-Xmas torpor and who are looking for an alternative to watching the clock hands crawling towards Yule liberation are directed towards "earth" - magnificent animated views of the world's wind currents.

Global wind currents shown on earth

Using data from the National Centers For Environmental Prediction, the US National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration* (NOAA) - updated every three hours - Cameron Beccario plots our planet's heavenly currents onto zoomable public domain maps.

The results are spectacular and highly addictive. As well as the default hemisphere view, you can also enjoy alternative angles, including Atlantis...

earth's Atlantis view

...Conical Equidistant...

earth's conical equidistant view

...Waterman Butterfly...

earth's Waterman Butterfly view

...and the mind-warping Stereographic:

earth's Stereographic view

If all that wasn't enough to keep you distracted until pub o'clock, earth's colour-coded wind strength and selectable altitude show that while the North Atlantic was lively this morning at 1000 hPa (~100m, or at the surface)...

earth view of the wind over the North Atlantic at sea level

...you'd probably want to steer clear of the stratosphere at 10 hPa (roughly 26,500m):

The winds over the North Atlantic at around 26,000m

Splendid stuff. There's more on earth right here. ®

Bootnote

*We presume it's the same NOAA data which drives the Cambridge University Space Flight Landing Predictor, as used by the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team.