We all have our favorite places to go to entertain our thirst for meteorology and climate. This page will share some of my favorite references that I have been using for years as well as some entertainment you might find amusing.
Modeling and Forecasting
I use many models for my research, and without models I would not be able to forecast. The following are some of my favorite resources that I use to observe what is going on in the atmosphere.
Earth.Nullschool – Very few models show what the atmosphere is doing worldwide. I love showing this website to my students and friends. You can clearly see the wind directions and wind speeds all around the world. If you find wind to be boring, you can look at ocean currents and cloud cover to name some of the many models available on this site. You can also change your millibar heights to suit your liking. To change what model you are looking at, click on the word “Earth” in the bottom left of your browser. This will bring up a menu that you can play around with. So much fun, I procrastinate a lot on this model. Especially when there is a hurricane spinning around in an ocean.
California Nevada River Forecast Center (CNRFC) – Ever wanted to try your hand at forecasting? Or are you just interested in seeing the dynamics that take place in the atmosphere over North America? Here you can use several key models to see incoming pressure systems, moisture, wind speeds, and various other atmospheric component. See which model you like the best or which one is right most of the time (I usually like the GFS and Navy models the best).
NCEP NAM Convective Forecasting Page – Another website that allows you to forecast for yourself. Similar to CNRFC, but has more forecasting tools such as cloud cover, pressures and wind gusts. There is not much of an archive, you can only go back about 7 days and that is it (as far as I know). Models for each component has 84 hours of projections. So at least you can forecast for the next 3.5 days.
Magic Seaweed – Maybe you are a surfer or just love the ocean in general. Are you curious about your wave heights or when high/low tide will occur? This website has it all. The ocean is connected to the weather very closely, so even meteorologists need to study and love the ocean as much as the surfers. After all, surfers are depending on the meteorologists to make sure they don’t miss the big waves
General Weather Info
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – Probably the most popular atmospheric website in the United States. If you want to find any information about weather in general this is the place to go. Click around to find numerous different models not only for the atmosphere but for ocean related research, such as currents and sea surface temperatures. They also post many climate news stories on the front page if you want an extra dose of news for your day.
WeatherUnderground – An amazing website that constantly has up-to-date weather blogs for your enjoyment. Dr. Jeff Masters is the co-founder for the website which has been around since 1995. He always brings new and exciting weather/climate news to the table and is an amazing forecaster. This website will not disappoint. Adding on, being August 24, WeatherUnderground will be having their own TV show which talks about all the science that takes place in the atmosphere. Finally, a weather show that focuses on the science! Get excited!
Mesonet by Iowa State University – A very handy website if you want to see the severe weather warnings that are currently taking place across the United States. They also have great archives that you can search through by date to see what a particular area was experiencing on a certain day (temperature, rain amount, alerts, etc.)
Environment Canada – Many people focus on the United States when it comes to statistical meteorological analysis or even forecasting in general. It is very disappointing that in the United States we do not look at other countries. Environment Canada is the leading weather office in Canada and there is an insane amount of data that can be found here. If anyone is interested in Canada’s weather and climate please click around here. If you think you live in freezing areas, your eyes will pop out when you see the temperatures northern Canada experiences.