The current season has been harsh for many: Freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall in the U.S., wild storms and flooding in Europe and blazing heat and bushfires in Australia. It can be hard to appreciate the wonderful intricacies of Earth’s weather systems while they’re causing you to suffer. But this stunning visualization may change your perspective. Created by programmer Cameron Beccario, the data comes in every three hours from the supercomputers of the Global Forecast System, the same number crunchers that provide our news weather forecasts each night.
The most stunning aspect of the interactive is its detail. You can change the altitude to look at winds in different layers of the atmosphere. Clicking on the “Earth” button will present a feast of options for showing different map projections or data overlays. In addition to wind, you can look at ocean currents, temperature, humidity, air density and more. You can also change the time to examine extreme past weather events like Superstorm Sandy, or go forward to look at future forecasts.