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Wind Map

Fernanda Viégas, Martin Wattenberg, Hint.fm

This animated map shows prevailing surface wind direction and strength across the United States.

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Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Could be incorporated into a discussion of where wind power might be most effectively implemented in the US.
  • Students could be assigned certain cities to focus on and identify the wind patterns.
  • Educator can access the archive animations and have students compare and contrast different years.

About the Science

  • Surface wind data comes from NOAA's National Digital Forecast Database. Map shows near-term forecasts revised once per hour.
  • Resource includes caveat that map is a "personal art project".
  • Comments from expert scientist: This is a very aesthetically-appealing representation of surface wind data based on forecasts. The data shown in this visualization have been spatially-smoothed in a way that is not transparently explained. It is very difficult to determine what resolution forecast data went into this map, and what resolution could be inferred.

About the Pedagogy

  • Map shows direction speed and patterns of surface winds across the US updated hourly. Similar to diagrams in textbooks but this one is animated.
  • Visually dynamic.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • A nice clear graphic design.

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