Three weather blogs you should be reading [TEXT]

By ANDREW GIBSON

I blog, therefore I am

Image courtesy of Flickr user alamodestuff

I like to believe Show-Me Missouri Weather is one of few blogs — if not the only one — dedicated to data visualizations about Missouri weather. But I’m part of a large crowd of people who write about the weather in general. If you’re interested in digging further into this topic, here are three weather blogs you should read.

AccuWeather.com blogs

Forecasting service AccuWeather has a slew of bloggers writing for its website. They include experts on weather in certain regions of the U.S. and others who explore niche topics like climate change and severe weather.

One of my favorites is Jesse Ferrell‘s WeatherMatrix blog, which “covers extreme weather worldwide with a concentration on weather photos and Social Media.”  A Dec. 1 post compares the odds of experiencing bad weather with the odds of winning the Powerball. Did you know “you’re 38.8 times more likely to be hit directly by a tornado than winning the lottery”?

A second AccuWeather blog worth your time is Brett Anderson‘s Climate Change Blog. The latest post examines how November temperatures across the globe compared to normal for that month. It includes a snazzy visualization highlighting these variations around the world.

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Holiday high temperatures in Columbia, Mo., for the past 12 years [GRAPHIC]

By ANDREW GIBSON

Christmas lights and snow

Image courtesy of Flickr user cheerytomato

It’s Dec. 1, a wake-up call for some that the holidays will soon arrive. When it comes time for Christmas and New Year’s Eve, I like it best when it’s cold and snowy outside. Opening presents under sunny skies doesn’t seem quite right. But my opinion is one of few — hence the reason for this week’s graphic.
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Meet mid-Missouri’s weather forecasters [INTERACTIVE] (Part 2)

By ANDREW GIBSON

Map of mid-Missouri TV stations

As promised, here’s the finished version of my interactive map about mid-Missouri’s TV weather forecasters:

Meet mid-Missouri’s weather forecasters

It shows what stations they work for and how to find them on Twitter. The included stations are KMIZ (ABC 17), KOMU and KRCG.

If you read Part 1, you know I had trouble getting the information windows to stay on the screen long enough to click the Twitter links. I solved that by (you can skip the rest of this paragraph if you don’t care about code) changing the JavaScript event handler  to”onclick” from “onmouseover.” That way, users have control over when the window disappears instead of that depending on where the cursor is pointing. If you’re curious, here’s my JavaScript file.

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Meet mid-Missouri’s weather forecasters [INTERACTIVE] (Part 1)

By ANDREW GIBSON

Map of mid-Missouri TV stations

Eleven posts into this blog, I still haven’t written about mid-Missouri’s TV weather forecasters.

Until now.

I’m making an interactive graphic to show what stations they work for and how to reach them on Twitter. It’s about 80 percent complete: You’ll notice the hovering box doesn’t yet stay up long enough to click the Twitter links. I’ll add a follow-up post within the next four weeks that links to the finished product.

Why couldn’t I finish this in one sitting? Well, it’s a hand-coded Web page with two JavaScript functions. What’s more, what you see is my first stab at creating a map in Illustrator. After nearly six hours of work (it’s 4:01 a.m. right now), I figured it was time to sleep.

Here’s the link. WordPress doesn’t let me include iframes, so I have to send you elsewhere to view the map.

Meet mid-Missouri’s weather forecasters

Hurricane Sandy compared to Missouri drought: Tale of two rainfall extremes [GRAPHIC]

By ANDREW GIBSON

Hurricane Sandy tore through the East Coast early this week, dropping inch after inch of rain in places like New York and New Jersey. While that happened, a continuing drought left all 114 Missouri counties under primary disaster declaration. The following graphic shows how much rain Easton, Md. — which got the most Sandy rainfall out of any East Coast city, according to The Weather Channel — got from just the superstorm compared to how much precipitation Columbia, Mo., has gotten over the past seven months. The data comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The rain Hurricane Sandy dropped in days took Columbia, Mo., seven months

Tool of choice: Adobe Illustrator

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What’s the best graphic you’ve seen related to Hurricane Sandy? Let me know in the comments.

When will the first snow hit Columbia, Mo.? [GRAPHIC]

By ANDREW GIBSON

Snowflakes

Photo courtesy of Flickr user nutmeg66

Isn’t Missouri weather fun? In Columbia yesterday, the temperature reached 82 degrees, and the low was 65. A day later, it’s 45 degrees, and rain earlier made the air feel like winter.

What Columbia hasn’t yet seen, though, is snow. That’s not surprising: There hasn’t been measurable October snowfall in the city (as measured from the government weather station at the University of Missouri) since before 2000, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But, given the state’s volatile weather, I wondered: Does it vary widely when the first snow hits Columbia?

The following graphic answers that question for 2000 through 2011. The years on the calendar mark when Columbia experienced its first measurable snow, as measured from the MU weather station by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2001 means the winter of 2001 — so when you see that year placed on Jan. 6, it means the 2001 winter went without snow until January 2002.

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Fall colors paint the leaves in Rocheport, Mo. [PHOTOS]

After shooting my first fall-colors photo gallery of Rock Bridge State Park in Columbia, Mo., I got the itch to take my Nikon west on Interstate 70 to find more autumn foliage. I ended up in Rocheport, Mo., which borders the Missouri River.

Many would agree that after the leaves fall off the Show-Me State’s trees, there’s not much to like about Missouri weather. But for now, I’ll tolerate the frosty air for the pictures that come with it.

Fall colors touch the leaves Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, in Rocheport, Mo. Read More…

How temperature affected SEC football teams’ last road games [GRAPHIC]

By ANDREW GIBSON

Football field

Photo courtesy of Flickr user danxoneil

Some Louisiana State football players said the team lost to Florida in Gainesville, Fla., last week because of the heat, according to Yahoo Sports. Is the excuse legitimate?

The following graph shows how Southeastern Conference teams fared on the road Oct. 6 given the temperatures in the home teams’ cities. The light blue bar is the difference between the temperature at kickoff time in the home city and the temperature in the road team’s city at the same time. For example, you can interpret the Mizzou-Vanderbilt game like this: The Commodores beat the Tigers by four points, and it was 9 degrees colder at kickoff in Columbia, Mo., than it was in Nashville, Tenn. (There’s the Missouri weather tie in case you were wondering. Mizzou plays SEC football.)

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Fall colors touch foliage at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park [PHOTOS]

It likely won’t be long before the change from summer to autumn reeks havoc on Missouri weather, but fall does bring with it brilliant leaf colors.  Autumn foliage is also a great opportunity for pictures. I took the following photos at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park in Columbia, Mo.

The sun shines through leaves at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park in Columbia, Mo., Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012.

The sun shines through leaves at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park in Columbia, Mo., Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012.

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How Mizzou football performs in low Missouri temperatures [GRAPHIC]

By ANDREW GIBSON

Fans at Memorial Stadium, home of the Mizzou Tigers football team

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Clyde Bentley

Much of my Missouri weather blogging has centered on the extreme heat the state has seen, but it’s getting time to shift gears. Sept. 22 marked the first day of fall, and my data visualizations and graphics should reflect that.

The graphic

As you probably know, this is Mizzou’s first season playing Southeastern Conference football. Some SEC cities have warm weather year round, but Columbia, Mo., residents know the end of summer often means frozen temperatures — and sometimes frozen Mizzou football games. This visualization shows the Tigers’ average November margin of victory compared to the number of days in that month where the Columbia temperature dropped to 32 degrees or less. The first year shown is 2001, the year Gary Pinkel became head coach.

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