Where on the planet are people's hats being knocked off by roaring wind? Where are the ghastly doldrums, where the air's so still not a single leaf rustles?
The answer lies within this trance-inducing model of near-real-time wind patterns from Cameron Beccario, a software engineer based in Tokyo. For "Earth," Beccario has taken the concept behind Hint.fm's wind map for the United States – which displays atmospheric movements as wispy, snaking lines – and expanded it to a global scale. Grab the planet with your mouse and spin and zoom to see the atmosphere's fevered incarnations: warm currents slowly drifting at the Equator, frosty stratospheric gusts doing doughnuts around the North Pole, Indian Ocean disturbances twisting the air into screaming whirlpools.
The simulation relies on the raw power of supercomputers and reams of weather data from NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Prediction. In particular, it's running off the widely used GFS model, one of several weather prediction tools used to forecast major storms and whatnot. Slower winds are represented as green and yellowish streaks, whereas the real roarers are painted in angry purple-and-crimson hues. (There's no color-coded key, yet.) Here's the circulation for the North America on Monday for the default surface-height layer: