Off topic: if anyone's looking for a slightly gigantic weather history dataset ("oodles of terabytes"), look at . It has accumulated "a few thousand" weather stations, at 5 minute intervals, going back "a few" years (I forget the numbers).
Depending on the capture technology (even specific wind turbine models using a certain technology) and project arrangement the variation even at a single location is very high.
And this is a beautiful visualization of the flow.
The US has huge amounts of available wind energy, but constrained supply chain, development, and transmission resources. 20% by 2030 is technically possible but will require huge amounts of work.
This creates two problems:
1) You need to have a lot of transmission capacity, which is used very inefficiently. With conventional powerplants you can forecast pretty easily, where and how much electricity is produced and consumed and you can size power grid accordingly (with backup capacities, of course). With wind power the production places and amounts are all the time changeing and you should have plenty of capacity, of which on average only small share is used.
2) To cover the consumption during non-windy times, you need to maintain backup power plants, which should be able to follow load rapidly. Water power is ideal for this, but as penetration level raises you need also other power plants, gas turbines for example (but who wants to maintain a turbine, which is used rarely...). Also batteries may be applied in the future, but in large scale that is nowadays pretty much science fiction.
But it's not horribly useful if you are interested in wind conditions at a particular place. Trying to figure out if a spot is experiencing 15mph wind vs 10mph is hard, for instance.
Compare it to these maps: http://passageweather.com/ which are not pretty nor are they intuitive but they are useful for someone trying to use the map to get detailed, localized wind condition information.
It seems like there should be some kind of middle ground between this wind map and maps like passageweater.com, maps that are intuitive and pretty but also provide detailed, useful information.
NOAA Point Forecasts: ex: http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=20.91&lon=-...
I can't figure out how to zoom out either because I don't think they've implemented that functionality. You can also zoom in infinitely...which is strange.
It would also be cool if you could zoom in. There is definitely a lot of local variation in wind speed/direction that you have to filter out when looking at the entire US but would still be very interesting to see.
You could also add color to indicate the temperature of the air.
It makes you wonder what other things are out there waiting to be done, and what you can do.
Paper.js looks like it could work as well:
For example, the wind over the Chicago is travelling "backwards" for no apparent reason. This is most likely due to this being the "backward half" of a cyclonic system centred over Canada.
The other thing that struck me is the effect the Southwest desert has on wind patterns over all... just, wow.
Should you be interested, here's data from the Netherlands: http://www.knmi.nl/samenw/hydra/cgi-bin/register.cgi
http://nixweb.com/dust/ is my version, for the SF Bay Area only. It was 15 years ago so pardon my Java applet.
Makes offshore look pretty good.
On a side node: Anyone else reminded of Deluxe Paint palette cycling animations by this?
I have to refresh to zoom out.
This is BEAUTIFUL.
It would be cool to see the different speed ranges reflected by [color of my choice] as well!
as well as the big nasa ocean viz from the past few days