Storm Season & The Many Gifts of NOAA in Google Earth
Happy Labor Day, readers. This the time of year that brings together Hot Dogs and Hurricane season. A time to celebrate change, whether it is global climactic change, or a change in season.
The 2010 year is characterized by a strong la Nina in the equatorial Pacific, which means a warm and wet winter for the Northern & Eastern United states, while the west coast is due for a cool and cold winter. This and with elevated sea surface temperatures, should lead to a strong season of storms for the USA.
This sets the stage for an interesting final quarter of the year in climatology, highlighted by the inevitable Atlantic Hurricane season. Unsuspecting vacationers were hit by the Nor’Easter Hurricane Earl, this weekend, the first strike in what could be a screwy season.
The following KML files are designed to help track the remainder of coming the domestic & international, season of storms, floods and wildfires. By the end of this post your Google Earth Browser should be outfitted strongly enough to render the television weather man an insult to your intelligence.
The best source for this information, as always, is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association. Over the past few years, the organization has compiled an invaluable library of Google Earth and GIS Resources on the web.
Beginning with the Hurricanes, there is no better place to go than NOAA for historical storm data. This KML file, containing all the Past Atlantic Storm Tracks, could have saved Galveston, TX, from meteorological hubris a hundred years back.
To track the Atlantic Hurricane season at anytime, just using a web browseruse this resource.
Weather Historians and storm chasers will also appreciate this KML file, featuring more than 50 years of Tornado tracks and data from NOAA.
The newest feature on the NOAA index of Google Earth friendly files, is this file, which tracks both ongoing and imminent floods in the United States with a live feed. Kudos to NOAA on this new release, this is difficult data to find.
A few weeks ago we posted on the series of catastrophic fires and drought across Russia. Now you can track all of the major fires, worldwide, using this KML file, from NOAA. As well, you can use this KML file to track and map drought conditions.
NOAA has also put together a richly detailed digital map on the progress fighting the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. This NOAA-produced map is one of the most reliable and constantly updated maps on the spill cleanup, with dozens of layers of information.
And to close this map overload, here’s a little bit of Apocalyptic Geography. This KML file envisions the home of GeoCurrents, San Francisco Bay, one hundred years in the future, swallowed by the deluge from rising sea levels. (Source: USGS in Google Earth Forums)