Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Weather: Frontal Analysis & More

Maybe it's the farm background, maybe it's biking to work each day, but I try to pay attention to the weather. I like trying to figure it out (though I usually can't), and I like looking at what's going on. Here's another tool in my quiver that I learned about this week from "nootka" on the West Coast Paddler forums.

You can find a variety of information at http://weather.unisys.com and it's pretty neat stuff.

This shows the fronts, where they are currently, and where they were for the past 12 hours.The image below should show the current fonts. (Or go to http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sfc_fronts.php?inv=0&t=cur to see it on the Unisys website.)
Current frontal positions in North America. Image source comes from http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sfc_fronts.php?inv=0&t=cur
Of course when you look at this it will all be different, but currently there is a giant cold front that has been sweeping across North America for a few days now. Yesterday, it brought very high winds to the prairies (it's still windy today, but not quite so bad) that blew my father and brother's crops away, very literally. It's amazing how quickly a good crop can go from good to nearly gone in a few hours.

Here's another map that shows the surface data: http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sfc_map.php?inv=0&t=cur&region=wc - by going to the link you can select your region, the type of map, & the information it shows.

Surface data with Canada selected as the region. Image comes from http://weather.unisys.com/surface/sfc_map.php?inv=0&t=cur&region=wc.
There is a fair bit more at the website to explore and I've only just started poking around the http://weather.unisys.com website.