The Washington Post

Wind map: twisting, turning eye candy

Top left weather map, top right temperatures. Bottom: Wind streams (NOAA, Unisys Weather, and )

The visualization uses data from the National Weather Service to refresh hourly.

I grabbed today’s 1 p.m. image and placed the surface weather map and temperatures above it.

Notice how the swirls in the wind map coincide with the areas of low pressure and how the strongest winds - indicated by the densest concentration of streams - coincide with the regions where temperatures are changing most dramatically (i.e. in the northern Rockies, east of Chicago, and in the Northeast).

The map has gone viral online, with many news websites and blogs singing its praises. Co.Exist calls it “mesmerizing”, Climate Progress “the coolest wind map ever”, Gizmodo “utterly hypnotic”, TheVerge “awe-inspiring”, Discovery News “Escher-like”, Today online "mind blowing” and Clean Technica “like [a] living Van Gogh painting.”

The website is best viewed in the Chrome web browser.

Jason is the Washington Post’s weather editor and Capital Weather Gang's chief meteorologist. He earned a master's degree in atmospheric science, and spent 10 years as a climate change science analyst for the U.S. government. He holds the Digital Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association.

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