Posts Tagged ‘Weather’
An iteration of John Cage’s 1975 ‘Lecture on the Weather’ is on display currently at Frith Street Gallery in New York with a soundscape by Maryanne Amacher. Worth dropping by if you are in the area.
At the start, Cage delivers a softly polemic prelude, and when the readings and musical realizations commence, so also begins a slowly escalating weather soundscape created by Maryanne Amacher. The work culminates with a film by Luis Frangella: Thoreau’s elemental nature drawings, now stark white on black, simulating flashes of lightning on a dark and stormy night. All of the elements — speech, music, film, lighting, and weather — combine to create a stunningly sensorial experience.
The Popular Science Editor was a long-running American periodical intended to educate children of the wonders of science. Edited by Charles Ray, who himself had no scientific training, it covers a spectrum of topics from mechanics and electricity through to geology and astronomy. Articles are frequently accompanied by marvellous illustrated diagrams, though no illustrator is typically credited.
Meteorology features heavily. Below are images from editions published between 1935 and 1936.
Earth is an interactive web-based visualisation of global wind conditions, based on readings and supercomputer forecasts of current and future weather conditions. Not only does it render this data live within the browser; it also allows for the interactive display of multiple height readings, overlays, and cartographic projection types.
Jeremy Harding writes in the London Review of Books on Richard Mabey’s Turned Out Nice Again and the quintessentially British fascination with the weather:
“Because of where we live, on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Storm Belt, just offshore from a huge, breathing land-mass, our meteorological lot is messy and erratic, whether we like it or not.”
In preparation for next month’s Faster Than Sound, we’ve been doing some analysis of the local area’s weather data from past years, to gain some insight into what the conditions are likely to be on the day. The gratifying part of this is producing graphical visualisations of weather patterns, which can often be aesthetically beautiful as well as useful for understanding underlying structure.
Here are a couple from last year’s research at Dungeness, representing the distribution of wind direction over a month:
In looking into online approaches, we came across Weatherspark, which is an incredibly full-featured tool to look into current and historical meteorological trends around the world. It includes data from a weather station not too far from Aldeburgh, and can be filtered by numerous attributes: wind speed and direction, sun hours, temperature, dew point, humidity, precipitation, and more.
It allows data from different stations to also be compared, and – in a really nice feature – generates written weather forecasts for any given day. Check it out for May 28th.
As a followup to our earlier post on weather data from Romney Marsh, here’s a quick circle plot of the wind direction over the same time period (30 April – 6 May 2010).
It seems to tally pretty closely with the Met Office commentary on southern wind patterns: prevailing south-westerlies from the passing Atlantic depressions, alongside seasonal winds from the north-east due to high pressure over Scandinavia.
In the process of analysing the local weather data to help us anticipate the likely conditions for Variable 4, we have been graphing and visualisating historical data. With the help of statistical techniques such as cluster analysis, this is helping us gain some understanding of how weather conditions are distributed and correlated.
Below are box plots of some of the more prominent conditions, recorded over the past 7 days. These give us some idea of the probable variance of each criterion during a 24-hour period.
Many thanks to Dave at Romney Marsh Weather for the data.