Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Annual Normal Temperature Visualization

Annual Normal Temperature Visualization If you haven't figured out by now, I enjoy tinkering with data and seeing how it looks on a map. As the saying goes, when you have a hammer (GIS), you look for nails to hit (climate data). In this case I wanted to see how the NCDC climate normals look when put into motion. In the past I made date specific maps of climate normals of monthly normals but not for every day of the year. The YouTube video below shows a side-by-side pannel of all 365 daily normals (high temperature on left and low temperature on right). The colors (categories) are based on the 189 stations in Alaska that have published normals (some using as little as 10 years worth of data). An inverse distance weighted (IDW) surfacing algorithm was used to interpolate values between points.

For a clearer animation, HERE is the standalone high temperature animation and HERE is the standalone low temperature animation.

If you are interested in seeing what the entire U.S. looks like, here is the companion video that focuses on the Lower 48.


  1. Simply great Brian! I sent this to my wife at work and she agrees.

    It'd be interesting to add a throttle to the scan speed, and maybe some sort of solar line or photoperiod scaling as an adjunct to the temps.

    Couldn't help but cringe when the Sept ~20th gloom and doom of winter appeared.


    1. Gary, glad you and your wife enjoyed it. The patterns are pretty interesting. I have been wanting to do this for a while but never had the chance to teach myself enough Python scripting language to automate the process. Even with it mostly automated, each set of data (high, low, precip, etc.) had to run all night long.

    2. Well thank you for this Brian. It's very good.