Animations to complement A World of Weather: Fundamentals of Meteorology


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University of Wisconsin Applets
University of Illinois Severe and Hazardous Weather archive of loops

Chapter 1: Weather Analysis: The Tools of the Trade

  • We live at the bottom of an ocean of air
  • Drag-and-Drop Identify the States game
  • Temperature and Kinetic Energy
  • Temperature and Gases
  • Polar Stereographic tool
  • Hydrostatic as vertical vs. horizontal scales
  • Scales of Motion applet
  • Station Model tool
  • Hawaii topography
  • Hawaii Fly-by
  • Drawing Isotherms
  • Contouring applet
  • Weather calculators and unit conversion: NWS 1, NWS 2, Army
  • Weather observing sites changes: By month, By Year
  • Worldwide buoy locations
  • Weather balloon launch
  • ACARS views: Atlantic, Eastern Pacific
  • Performing vector subtraction
  • Breaking vectors up into components
  • May 3, 1999 Oklahoma radars: Superimposed on first-order observations, Superimposed on OK Mesonet Worldwide buoy locations


    Chapter 2: The Global Ledger of Heat Energy

  • Relationship between wavelength and temperature
  • Emission diagram as a function of temperature
  • Relationship between radiation intensity and angle of incidence
  • Global energy balance
  • Net solar radiation input over the course of a year
  • Conduction of energy
  • Schlieren video
  • Mechanical eddies in a tank
  • Impact of wind on nighttime low-level temperatures
  • Global animations of radiation fluxes


    Chapter 3: Global and Local Controllers of Temperature

  • Seasonal Temperature Animation
  • Temperature Tendency Tool
  • Set of Climographs demonstrate climate controls
  • Cold air advances at a cold front
  • Convection often precedes or accompanies the passage of a cold front
  • Overrunning at a warm front; Another example
  • Isotherms, streamlines, and advection
  • Advection of smoke: Tracking smoke from Mexican fires on GOES imagery
  • Satellite's View of the Seasons
  • Explaining the Seasons
  • Tracking sun's most direct rays over a year
  • Earth-sun applet - tracking angle of incidence
  • Sunshine applet
  • Sunrise/Sunset calculator
  • Day/Night wind behavior in mountain/valley system
  • Atlantic Ocean surface water velocities


    Chapter 4: The Role of Water in Weather

  • The Water Cycle (from NASA)
  • Variation of mixing ratio with height
  • Evaporation and Condensation
  • Making a cloud in a bottle
  • Explaining orographic lifting
  • Formation of ridge-top fog
  • Washington state Topo/Land
  • Relative humidity calculator
  • Wet-bulb calculator
  • Global animations of moisture variables


    Chapter 5: Satellite and Radar Imagery: Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere

  • Understanding satellite image resolution
  • Path of polar orbiter 1; Polar orbiter cloud swaths
  • Infrared satellite image simulator
  • Water vapor satellite simulator
  • Water vapor example 2
  • Rare water vapor loop showing surface features
  • Visible loop
  • Infrared loop
  • Movie of man opening refrigerator
  • "High-Definition" Infrared Loop showing surface temperature changes
  • Enhanced infrared loop
  • Current NH enhanced IR loop
  • Water vapor loop
  • Year's worth of vapor imagery, illustrating mid-latitude connection to tropics
  • Visible loop - clouds and snowmelt over PA
  • Visible loop- snowmelt over SW Texas
  • Composite visible/IR loop - snowmelt over Plains
  • Looking at 19 Channels of the GOES sounder
  • DSMP visible image of city lights
  • 2004 tsunami wave propogation from satellite
  • How radar works
  • Radar beam properties with distance
  • Radar loop with birds
  • Hearing Doppler Effect ... Lee's lassoing demonstration
  • Doppler Effect applet (sound)
  • Doppler Effect interactive with a rowboat
  • Doppler Effect Applet


    Chapter 6: Surface Patterns of Pressure and Wind

  • Drawing isobars
  • Correcting to sea level
  • Forces acting on Air Parcels
  • Interactive force diagram (PGF, Coriolis, Friction)
  • Troughs and ridges
  • Circulations around surface highs and lows
  • Lessons from a football field
  • Coriolis effect
  • Earth's rotation, viewed from North Pole and South Pole
  • Coriolis "Video Game"
  • Global animations of pressure


    Chapter 7: Upper-Air Patterns of Pressure and Wind

  • Pressure decreases faster in cold air than in warm air
  • Perspective on pressure surface
  • Pressure surface slice
  • Going from a constant pressure surface to drawing contours
  • Ridge/trough evolution
  • Balance of forces aloft produces geostrophic wind
  • Existence of the mid-latitude jet stream
  • Typical jet stream in Winter, Summer
  • Ridge/trough air flow
  • Temperature gradient / jet stream simulator
  • Movement of air through a jet streak
  • Computer simulation of eddies associated with CAT
  • Global animations of 500-mb height, wind, omega


    Chapter 8: The Role of Stability in Weather

  • Interactive Sounding Tool
  • Evolution of temperature sounding on clear summer day
  • Effect of mid-level inversion on ascent
  • Temperature changes in a rising or sinking parcel
  • Bergeron-Findeisen Process
  • Ice crystal structure
  • Effect of surface heating on atmospheric overturning
  • How an inversion breaks, allowing fog to dissipate
  • Satellite imagery, watching valley fog dissipating
  • Mountain lee wave clouds on visible satellite animation
  • Finding the LCL
  • Contrail formation applet
  • Potential temperature cross section
  • Exploring acceleration and velocity in buoyant parcels
  • Virtual temperature calculator
  • Wet-bulb temperature calculator
  • Equivalent potential temperature (theta-e) interactive
  • Equivalent potential temperature (theta-e) dependence on T and Td
  • Lifting a parcel and tracking changes in T, Td, VP, etc


    Chapter 9: Thunderstorms

  • Lightning at full and slow speed: Video 1, Video 2 Re-creation of Franklin Kite experiment
  • Lightning striking plane video
  • Global lightning climatology maps
  • Annual migration of lightning flashes
  • Radar loop of air-mass thunderstorms
  • Sea-breeze front explanation
  • Thunderstorms along the sea-breeze front
  • Radar loop of land-breeze thunderstorms
  • Radar loop of thunderstorms developing due to a high-level heat source
  • Elevated convection interative
  • Computer simulation of outflow boundary
  • Radar imagery shows colliding outflow boundaries over Southeastern Pennsylvania
  • Erosion of capping inversion as sun rises
  • Cap strength vs. CAPE
  • Radar detects sea-breeze front coming inland
  • Satellite imagery of Erie lake breeze initiating severe thunderstorms
  • Satellite imagery shows mesoscale boundaries everywhere
  • Model of a single-cell thunderstorm
  • Movement of multi-cell thunderstorms
  • Example of removing storm motion from Doppler velocity: Wind vectors, Speed colorized
  • Plane flying through microburst
  • Animation of a downburst


    Chapter 10: Tropics, Part I: Patterns of Wind, Water and Weather

  • Average flow in tropics and mid-latitudes as demonstrated by water vapor imagery
  • Migration of precipitation over a year
  • Year's worth of vapor imagery, illustrating mid-latitude connection to tropics
  • Understanding radius of rotation
  • Computing angular velocity
  • Relationship between latitude, angular momentum, and wind speed
  • Tracking a parcel through the Hadley Cell
  • Ekman Transport interactive
  • TOPEX interactive primer
  • Thermocline tilt in the Pacific
  • Make Earth's Weather (change rotation, surface covering, tilt)
  • El Nino: Animations, Current data
  • Sea-surface temperature anomalies during 1997-98 El Nino plan, 1997-98 El Nino cross-section, 1998-99 La Nina
  • Return of phytoplankton in E. Pacific at end of El Nino
  • Advance of Asian summer monsoon
  • Formation of a heat low
  • Interactive on symmetry of subtropical gyres
  • Coastal Upwelling (from Rutgers University)


    Chapter 11: Tropical Weather, Part II: Hurricanes

  • Ocean basin tropical cyclone responsibilities
  • Five-day satellite loop, Hurricane Floyd (1999)
  • Six-day satellite loop, Hurricane Katrina (2005); Radar loop of landfall
  • Close-up of eye of Hurricane Katrina (2005) over Gulf
  • Close-up of eye of Hurricane Wilma (2005) approaching Cozumel
  • Hurricane Isabel: Seven-day satellite animation, Velocity radar image at landfall, Three-day water vapor animation
  • Hurricane Trackers: Site 1, Site 2
  • Saffir-Simpson interactive
  • Movement of air parcels in a hurricane
  • Affect of wind shear on hurricanes (Lee experiment)
  • Demise of Hurricane Nicholas by wind shear
  • Impact of Hurricane Juliette on SSTs
  • How a hurricane intensifies
  • Explanation of CISK
  • Convection and easterly waves
  • Explanation of beta drift
  • Computer simulation of eye vortices
  • Radar loop of Hurricane Andrew at landfall
  • Inland radar loop of Hurricane Ivan demonstrates spiral bands and tornadoes
  • Visible satellite image shows wobbling of eye of Hurricane Wilma (October 2005)
  • On a hurricane hunter plane
  • Typical hurricane hunter path through a hurricane
  • Decoding VORTEX message
  • Hurricane Track Simulator (from COMET, for various upper-level patterns)
  • March 2004 Hurricane Catarina hits Brazil
  • 2005 Hurricane Season: Small (28 MB), Large (113 MB)


    Chapter 12: Mid-Latitude I: Linking Surface and Upper-Air Patterns

  • An ice skater
  • Shear vorticity
  • Curvature vorticity
  • Parcel's spin vs. divergence
  • Rotation around the local vertical at various latitudes
  • Relationship between angular veolocity and curvature
  • Response of a spinning parcel to divergence or convergence
  • Relative vs. planetary vorticity
  • Movement of air through a jet streak
  • Jet streaks - follow parcel all the way through
  • Jet streak entrance region only
  • Jet streak exit region only
  • Jet streak divergence/convergence high/low consequences
  • Short waves and long waves, wave addition
  • Star movement simulation


    Chapter 13: Mid-Latitude II: The Cyclone Model

  • Advection's role in self-development
  • Evolution of a mid-latitude cyclone
  • Evolution of tilt of upper-air trough
  • Cyclone machine video
  • Link between jet and surface low
  • Satellite loop of a mature cyclone
  • Conveyor belts
  • Year's worth of vapor imagery, illustrating mid-latitude connection to tropics
  • Heating effect on pressure surfaces


    Chapter 14: Mid-Latitude III: Spawning Severe Weather

  • Radar loop of thunderstorms forming along gust front
  • Radar loop of bow echo (1)
  • Radar loop of bow echo (2)
  • Radar loop of derecho
  • Satellite loop of May 3, 1999 Oklahoma supercells
  • Radar loop of May 3, 1999 Oklahoma supercells
  • Radar example of supercell thunderstorms generating along and ahead of cold front
  • Visible satellite loop of Jarrell, TX, supercell (May 1997)
  • Schematic vertical cross sections of supercell thunderstorms: Classic supercell, LP supercell, HP supercell
  • Supercell visualizations (numerical simulations from NCSA): General view, Relative wind, Streamwise vorticity
  • Supercell/mesocyclone over Australia
  • Computing direction and magnitude of a wind shear vector
  • Difference between Doppler velocity and storm-relative velocity


    Chapter 15: Tornadoes

  • Time-lapse of tornado forming from supercell - April 21, 2007
  • Movie of dust devils on Mars
  • Arkansas tornado, January 1999
  • Firewhirl
  • Fujita Scale / tornado applet
  • National Geographic Tornado Chasing w/ Tim Samaras
  • Iowa State's Virtual Tornado


    Chapter 16: Mid-Latitude IV: Winter Weather

  • Enhanced infrared satellite loop of March 1993 Superstorm
  • Lake-effect snow bands on visible satellite imagery (1)
  • Lake-effect snow bands on visible satellite imagery (2)
  • Lake-effect snow event off Ontario, January 2004, radar imagery
  • Winter precipitation types
  • Precipitation-type applet (adjust T and Tw)
  • Radar of lake-effect developing behind departing cyclone
  • Radar, Lake Effect Storm "Bald Eagle," Dec. 24, 2001 - Jan.1, 2002, Buffalo 81.6 inches: BUF Nexrad, TYX Nexrad
  • Wide radar view of lake-effect off Erie and Ontario (courtesy of WSI)
  • Radar loop of single-band lake effect snow on Lake Michigan aided by converging land breezes
  • Exploring Sensible and Latent heat fluxes during lake-effect events


    Chapter 17: Numerical Weather Prediction

  • Lorenz Model and "Butterfly Effect"
  • Another Lorenz Attractor


    Chapter 18: Human Influence on Weather and Climate

  • Infrared imagery of Atlanta urban heat island
  • Development of 2004 Antarctic ozone hole, from NASA satellite
  • Development of 2005 Antarctic ozone hole, from NASA satellite
  • Simulation of plume from Mount Pinatubo eruption being circulated around globe
  • Eruption of Mt. St. Helens from GOES imagery
  • Climate change contributors & calculators: Carbon Usage, Carbon budgets, EPA Personal Greenhouse Gas Sea level rise,
  • Ozone hole monitoring
  • Ground-level ozone formation game