Earth  Planets and Moons  ID: 3201

Global Surface Wind Speed during Hurricane Frances (WMS)

The weight of the Earth's atmosphere exerts pressure on the surface of the Earth. This pressure varies from place-to-place and from time-to-time due to surface irregularities, uneven heating of the atmosphere by the sun, and the Earth's rotation. Differences in pressure from place-to-place cause winds to try to flow from high pressure to low pressure regions to even out the differences, but the Earth's rotation and wind friction with the surface act to slow or divert the winds. This animation shows the surface wind speeds for the whole globe from September 1, 2004, through September 5, 2004, during the period of Hurricane Frances in the western Atlantic Ocean and Typhoon Songda in the western Pacific Ocean. The highest, smoothest winds occur over the oceans where there are no surface irregularities to break up the flow, while flows over land tend to be irregular and highly variable. The highest winds occur in Hurricane Frances and Typhoon Songda, but note that the hurricane's wind speeds reduce dramatically when crossing Florida.

Visualization Credits

Horace Mitchell (NASA/GSFC): Lead Animator
William Putman (NASA/GSFC): Scientist
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio

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Data Used:
fvGCM/Global Surface Wind Speed
Model - NASA - 2005-09-01T03:00 -- 2005-09-05T24:00
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

This item is part of these series:

DLESE >> Atmospheric science
DLESE >> Natural hazards
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Atmospheric Phenomena >> Hurricanes
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Atmospheric Phenomena >> Typhoons
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Atmospheric Winds >> Surface Winds
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Human Dimensions >> Natural Hazards >> Meteorological Hazards
GCMD >> Location >> Global
SVS >> Hurricane Frances
SVS >> Hyperwall
NASA Science >> Earth
NASA Science >> Planets and Moons

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version