Additional Map Detail to be Released in New Version

progress report on upcoming changes to add more detail to the forecast maps

I have upon investigation found that the amount of real information came be increased in the maps presented on the forecast pages, simply by using the fine resolution of the original data base. 95%tile of the data points used to generate the grids and maps are with in .9 degrees of their nearest neighbor, with the currently posted maps the default of 1.5 degrees grid spacing was chosen. and medium smoothing was used to make the maps match the usual resolution of forecasts found on line 5 years ago when this original set of maps were generated.

10%tile of the data points are within 1 mile of their nearest neighbor [multiple stations in and around large cities] which leads me to realize that I could drop the spacing between data points to shrink the grid spacing to 0.05 degrees or about 3 miles instead of the 90 miles I was using and end up with  900X the detail in the grid data base, then using NO smoothing could retain the 900X greater resolution in the maps themselves, by displaying temperatures as 1 degree F contour lines surface details that were hidden in the smoothing, can now be seen in the temperature variations naturally found in the real data base.

Samples of the Low temps from 2-14-2011 new 4 cycle maps are posted as screen shots of the current revision, (pending further improvements as we move toward finished update).

New Low Temperature Maps with 1 degree stepping between contours click to see larger size

Close up sample of the detail of the Texas UHI detail that can be seen, in the updated local forecast views, most of the surface land use details will shift from day to day as farming practices and recent precipitation, that affects the repeating patterns shown.

Zoomed to local view to show Texas urban heat island - click for larger size

It becomes easy to see not all of the warmer and cooler spots are due to cities alone, most are due to sheltering from weather due to surface textures that were preexisting before human occupation. People tended to settle in sheltered areas along water ways, so the natural heat islands have over the years, been human enhanced by urban growth. A fact of life not mentioned in the research literature?


Valleys in slow wind flows patterns can be over 10 degrees warmer than on windy days, like in the Dakotas in this screen shot, finished maps will be masked to block the random noise out side of the borders. Click to expand view and zoom in for more detail.

Got an update from Eric today, we have both been busy with our own projects and he has supplied me with a quote for the forecast setup services and a years subscription to his service, described;

Where we stand on the progress;
“As for delivery, I could do an analysis of the forecast format, etc.
like I did last time to make sure it’s suitable for import by the end
of September.  Then once any corrections are made, do the full
setup/import code.  If that went well (there were few corrections
needed, etc.) I could import September 2011 before October 15, which
would allow you to then see the September aggregations and data in

working with huge data sets makes for slow progress, when I have limited funds available, but slow progress is better than no progress. The programer and I are still working out the details of the masking of the maps, and the rebuilding of the site layout to allow all of the additional maps in the higher resolution format. I am hoping to bring on line all of the additional features and the ongoing validation of the forecast accuracy by the first of the year 2012.

Filed under: Project Progress — by Richard Holle @ 5:27 pm on July 14, 2011


Fatalwishes on Jul 15, 2011 at 2:57 am

Thanks for all of your hard work.

Brian H on Jul 15, 2011 at 6:54 am

Excellent observations and thoughts. You have a chance to significantly advance the field with this. Thanks muchly.

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