Tropical Cyclones, 1985-2005 by Array.

The Eye of the Storm: Visualizing Weather

An interesting, albeit at times frustrating, aspect of the incessant storm-tracking enabled by a 24-hour news cycle and a homebound Twitterverse, are the wide variety of meteorological maps of Sandy, each trying not only to predict the wiles of a very unpredictable lady, but also to clearly and quickly convey information to those in Sandy’s path. Weather events like these provide an enormous, engaged readership for maps, and as such they provide an opportunity to fine-tune visualizations geared towards readability. Because, let’s be honest, during a natural disaster, function trumps form. That said, many of the meteorological map-makers are trained not as designers, but as scientists, and so, many maps fail miserably at their intended purpose. A quick sampling:

Tufte would not be happy with these color ramps

Could we get a better gradient up in here? Where is the surge going once it hits land? Topography might be helpful.

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