Mapping The White (Day After) Christmas

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Weather

Here in D.C. we woke today to a surprise coat of snow/sleet, the first significant wintry mix of the season. Apparently, the precipitation came from a massive storm that’s dumped rain and snow — and sparked tornados — over a large swath of the country. The National Weather Service has a fancy (and new to me) radar map that shows the storms size and intensity. Check it out:

National Weather Service

National Weather Service

[Via my colleague, Mark Memmott]

Humidity, Sunshine Across The U.S.

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Weather

With summer winding down, I wondered: How much does the amount of sunshine and humidity vary among U.S. cities?

First, this map shows the average percentage of possible sunshine by city. (Yuma, AZ, has sun about 90% of the year; Juneau, AK, gets it about 30%). Larger bubbles represent higher percentages of sunshine (click the images for larger, interactive versions):

This map shows (a slightly different) list of cities and their annual average relative humidity in the afternoon:

I’m not sure whether these maps are effective — or whether they should be maps at all. But I wanted to try another quick experiment with CartoDB.

Data source: NOAA | Download: Sunshine, Humidity

A Below-Average Birthday

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Weather

Today’s my birthday, and the weather is great. What’s it been like for past birthdays, I wondered.

The answer: All over the place (sort of like my parents’ moving choices). This quick heat map shows how the weather varied over the years, with the minimum and maximum more than 40 degrees apart. The average is a balmy 80 degrees, a bit warmer than today:

Data sources: Weather Underground, Weatherbase

Mapping Drought Conditions

By Matt Stiles | | Topics: Weather

USA Today reports that the country hasn’t been this “dry” in five years: 

Still reeling from devastating drought that led to at least $10 billion in agricultural losses across Texas and the South in 2011, the nation is enduring more unusually parched weather.

The map uses the same data we at NPR used recently to map conditions in Texas, which endured the worst drought in its history last year. The map shows the full country, for context, and allows users to see an animated view week-by-week from summer 2010 to last month. Check it out