Blog: General

2017-01-11_1701_001
January 12

California Drought, Improvement At Stormy Price

Drought By The Numbers   2017 is still young. But the California drought is now entering its SEVENTH year. That fact is just impressive to type into words. It’s been so long now, that it may feel like it’s just another day at this point for some Californians. That’s easy for me to say. I’ll avoid further cliché. Essentially, we are looking at one of the worst regional droughts the USA has ever had to live through. The four-year period between fall 2011 and fall 2015 was the driest in CA since record keeping began in 1895 (Source). Of course impacts...

Noctilucent clouds over Uppsala, Sweden. Source: Wikimedia.
December 15

Noctilucent Clouds: Season Underway

‘Tis the season to head south and play with nature’s hide-and-seek masters. I’m talking about the never-always seen, but always gorgeous noctilucent clouds. Okay… maybe that’s an unrealistic proposition. Antarctica or the Arctic Circle likely aren’t in our vacation plans anytime soon. I’ll use this blog to ‘transport’ us there. You’re welcome. Now we don’t have freeze and still see one of the most beautiful natural occurrences over our planet. Always bundle up if you go cloud hunting on these fellas! They only occur in the coldest and highest places on (or in this case, above) Earth. That’s the mesosphere (which lies...

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December 7

There’s a Weather Index For That!

We are all familiar with the direct impact weather conditions can have on our day-to-day lives. There are days where hanging out at the beach seems like a no-brainer. On the contrary, we have all experienced circumstances that prevented us from doing something as simple as driving to the supermarket. As technologies have advanced we have been able to not only observe and report current conditions, but also accurately provide weather forecasts. To some degree, we can literally predict the future. But what if we took that one step further? What if we were able to forecast the potential for...

halloween-sat
October 27

25th Anniversary of the 1991 Halloween Blizzard

25th Anniversary of the 1991 Halloween Blizzard If you lived in the Upper Midwest on Halloween back in 1991, chances are you can recall what you were doing as one of the most significant early season snow storms on record affected parts of the Upper Midwest. Heavy snow started in earnest on Halloween, which made it a very memorable night for trick or treating. I was a cow that year and vividly remember snow piling up on my snout as I slid on the slippery sidewalks from house to house. Boy was that fun! 1991 Halloween Forecast Interestingly, the initial...

October 20

HealthCast: Winter Weather and Human Health

What kind of weather do you think is the cause of most heart attacks? A. Floods B. Lightning C. Tornadoes D. Heat Waves E. Winter Storms Although heat tends to strain the heart, winter storms prompt the most heart attacks. Cold Killer Winter heart attacks are often more damaging. The cold itself is to blame as well as the exertion and strain of shoveling ice and snow. This physical activity often creates excess stress on weak hearts. In addition cold air constricts blood vessels putting even more stress on the heart. Heart attacks, however, are not the only killer in...

3d view of Matthew
September 28

Blending Data with Aeris Maps

With Tropical Storm Matthew heading towards the Caribbean, we’ve been testing our upcoming tropical layers for the Aeris Maps Platform. In the process, we also experimented with combining different layers with some of the advanced AMP features such as blends: With the above image, we combined the flat-dk and water-depth base layers. Then added the high-resolution visible satellite imagery with a hard-light blend: flat-dk,water-depth,sat-vis-hires:blend(hard-light) The hard light blend allows the blue from the water layer to mix with the darker areas of the visible satellite while leaving the clouds white. Adding the lightning strike density layer to the map, which...

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September 22

Autumnal Equinox and Fall Color

Autumnal Equinox At exactly 10:21 am EDT on Thursday, September 22nd the sun’s most direct rays will be shining directly over the equator, which marks the beginning of Fall in the Northern Hemisphere and the first day of Spring in the Southern Hemisphere. Interestingly there are 2 equinoxes a year, one in September (Autumnal) and one in March (Vernal). Note that at this time of year, there are approximately 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of night across the globe! Fall will continue over the next 3 months until Wednesday, December 21st, when the sun’s most direct rays will...

Africa
August 25

The Saharan Air Layer (SAL)

I’d like to tell you about a member of the weather family: The Saharan Air Layer, or SAL for short. SAL usually gets alot of attention this time of year (August) as weather folk look toward the West Coast of Africa for tropical storm and hurricane development.  Now,  just like any other family member, SAL has both positive and negative qualities, depending on perspective of course. But to first understand SAL, we must first understand the geography and environment from which SAL originates: The Saharan region of Africa. In the equatorial tropics, the average wind is out of the northeast,...

June 16

Recreating the Parallax Menu in Aeris Pulse iOS

We’ve had several users of our Aeris Weather iOS SDK ask us about whether the parallax UITableViewCells in the map layer menu of Aeris Pulse was available as part of the SDK, or how we achieved the effect.   Although this menu is not offered as part of our iOS SDK, it’s really easy to implement. There are just a few main steps you need to perform to get this effect working in your own apps. The following code samples are provided using Swift, but can easily be ported over to Objective-C if you haven’t jumped into Swift yet. Generate background images...

Example image of data visualization
May 16

Data Visualizations – Making Weather Interactive

Each day, we process terabytes of data for use with our Aeris Weather API and Aeris Maps Platform and are always looking for improved ways to visualize all the data. D3.js is one of the most popular data visalization libraries for the web. By combining D3.js with other open-source libraries such as Crossfilter and DC.js, as well as our own Aeris Weather API, some great weather data visualizations are possible. Interactive Storm Reports Last month there were just under 11,000 storm reports across the US, which includes data on tornadoes, hail size, snowfall, rainfall and more. Visualizing such a large amount of...