Watch All of 2015's Weather in Super High-Def
This is what a year of weather looks like from space (hint: it's pretty spectacular). Continue reading →
Another year of wild weather is behind us. But thanks to EUMETSAT, you can now relive it in amazing high-definition video from space.
The new visualization uses geostationary satellite data from EUMETSAT, the Japan Meteorological Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to stitch together 365 days of data into one stunning highlight reel of 2015's weather.
And what a year it was. You'll definitely want to keep your eye on the tropics throughout the animation as the northern hemisphere set a record for the most major tropical cyclones to form in a year.
Around the 6:30 mark, you can see the evolution of Hurricane Joaquin, the strongest Atlantic hurricane of 2015. It went from a tropical depression in late September to a Category 4 storm that battered the Bahamas and menaced the East Coast before steering all the way across the Atlantic and plowing into the U.K.
Hurricane Patricia became the strongest hurricane ever recorded in October and at the 6:55 mark, you can see it quickly slam into Mexico's west coast before heading inland to inundate parts of Texas.
But beyond the highlights, there's also yearly the ebb and flow of weather on our fair planet. During the southern Amazon's rainy season, which last from December-April, you can see clouds pop up almost daily to spread rains across the region. Clouds become far less plentiful during the region's dry season.
And more broadly, you can see weather patterns flow across continents and oceans. Today's storm in the Southeast U.S. is next week's rain in Spain. By putting together a global view of our planet, EUMETSAT's video shows how our atmosphere is the common tie that binds humanity together.
There have been a few things updated since last year's version. For one, EUMETSAT has cranked the resolution to 4K for truly epic detail. And more importantly, the quality of satellites in space has improved.
Both Japan and EUMETSAT launched new satellites last year that have higher resolutions than their predecessors. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration plans to launch a new high resolution geostationary satellite this year, adding even more detailed coverage of the planet.
That's good news if you want an even sharper 4K experience or improved forecasts. And if you want both, well, then life is really good.
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Satellite imagery shows the transition of Hurricane Joaquin near the Bahamas to an extratropical storm that hit the U.K.
You've heard Chicago described as the Windy City, even though its average wind speed of 10.3 miles an hour really is only slightly higher than the rest of the United States. But there are some spots on the planet where fierce gales will knock you over. Antarctica has some of the nastiest winds on the planet, in part because of its ice cover, which causes a mass of cold, dense air over its interior to sink and funnel air through rugged mountains to create sudden fast-moving katabatic winds of up to 45 miles an hour. The highest wind-speed recorded on the continent, on July 6, 1913 at Cape Denison, hit 95 miles per hour.
Gruissan in southern France is a favorite spot for windsurfers, due to powerful offshore winds that have been known to hit 78 nautical miles per hour, or about 90 mph.
Mount Washington, N.H, situated in the White Mountains, is a barrier for westerly winds and lows along the coastline, and gusts of hurricane-force wind aren't that uncommon. In 1934, one gust hit 231 miles per hour.
The Sahara Desert's winds are so powerful they can kick up dust that reaches Texas, 5,000 miles away.
Mount Everest, which pokes into the stratosphere, has some brutal winds. The highest-ever recorded wind speed was 175 miles per hour back in February 2004.
El Reno, Okla., in the tornado-plagued southwestern plains, had a mammoth twister in 2013 that hit speeds as high as 296 miles per hour and had a maximum width of 2.5 miles.
Barrow Island, Australia, has some powerful winds. On April 10, 1996, a weather station there recorded a gust that hit 253 miles per hour, the strongest ever reported in meteorological history.
Cape Horn, at the southern tip of South America, has fierce winds that historically gave it a reputation as a sailor's graveyard.