14th Conference on Applied Climatology


Two-way (Hour-Month) Time Section Plots as a Tool for Climatological Visualization and Summarization

Charles J. Fisk, U.S. Navy, Point Mugu, CA

This study demonstrates the utility of two-way ("hour-month") time-section plots as a means of visualizing single-station climatological data, a mode of presentation certainly not unknown but not believed to be widely used in practice. Most two-way data of this kind reside in digitized cross-tabular form for a subset of hours per month (e.g. every third-hour), a prime example being the NOAA International Station Meteorological Climate Summary (ISMCS) CD-ROM publication, which includes data for more than 2000 stations worldwide.

The availability and use of data analysis/visualization software, programming techniques, and desktop computing power makes it readily feasible to "transform" multiple digital summaries of this kind into single page graphical layouts that give a comprehensive visual feel for the seasonal/diurnal variations of parameter(s) of interest. Most importantly, the graphs lend themselves to effective presentation on the web.

In this presentation mode, month of the year comprises one axis, hour of the day the other. Upon the grid, variables such as temperature, frequency of VFR, fog, or high winds are contoured. Off-hour data not represented in the original tables are estimated by smoothing/interpolation techniques. Multiple contours can, of course, be created (e.g., temperature and humidity), color schemes added to represent additional variables, and sunrise/sunset demarcations added. Derived variable combinations (e.g., mean vector wind/constancy) are also possible from manipulation of the original cross-tabulated data.

A variety of charts are presented (black and white only in the extended abstract), from domestic as well as international stations. Most of the original data used for the charts originated from the ISMCS publication.

extended abstract  Extended Abstract (852K)

Poster Session 1, Climate Products and Data Sets
Monday, 12 January 2004, 2:30 PM-4:00 PM, Hall AB

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