GEOS-5 Modeled Winds
GEOS-5 Modeled Winds show a computer simulation of winds in the
tropopause, the boundary between the troposphere (near the ground)
and the stratosphere. This boundary is about 4-7 miles above
the Earth's surface. It is where jet streams, where wind
speeds can be 120-250 mph, occur. This simulation is for the
dates 9/1/2006 - 3/17/2007.
A) Tilt the globe so you can see the South Pole. The
circular wind pattern keeps warmer air from reaching Antarctica,
one of the reasons it is so cold.
B) Look at North America. You can see the jet stream move
air from west to east. It also separates the cold Arctic air to the
north, and warmer air to the south. There are times and places
where the jet stream dips down, almost to the Gulf of Mexico.
That makes for extremely cold weather in the parts of the U.S. that
lie to the north of the jet stream.
Real-time Linear IR
Next, overlay Realtime Linear IR. It shows the weather patterns
over the past 30 days. It does not cover the same dates as
the Modeled Winds (above). However, the overall wind patterns
are pretty consistent.
A) Show the Realtime Linear IR to show the weather patterns for
the past 30 days.
B) Point out weather here in Colorado for the past week or
so. This helps visitors connect what they see on the Sphere
with reality. Also, if there are any major weather events,
such as hurricanes, point these out as well.
C) By moving the transparency sliders, adjust things so you can
see both datasets at once. You can see the striking parallels
between the computer model and what is actually taking place.
It is particularly evident near Antartica.