notes.husk.org. scribblings by Paul Mison.

2014-02-27

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photo 22:22:41
Satellite Sees a Midwest White Out by NASA Goddard Photo and Video on Flickr:

The GOES-East satellite captured a Midwestern wintertime “White Out” at 2015 UTC/3:15 p.m. EST on January 6, 2014. Blowing snow and intensely cold air created dangerous white-out conditions over the Midwest, particularly around the Great Lakes, where daytime temperatures averaged -20F with a wind chill near -50F.
The GOES-East satellite is managed by NOAA. The image was created at NASA’s GOES Project at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
Credit: NASA NOAA GOES Project, Dennis Chesters

Satellite Sees a Midwest White Out by NASA Goddard Photo and Video on Flickr:

The GOES-East satellite captured a Midwestern wintertime “White Out” at 2015 UTC/3:15 p.m. EST on January 6, 2014. Blowing snow and intensely cold air created dangerous white-out conditions over the Midwest, particularly around the Great Lakes, where daytime temperatures averaged -20F with a wind chill near -50F.

The GOES-East satellite is managed by NOAA. The image was created at NASA’s GOES Project at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Credit: NASA NOAA GOES Project, Dennis Chesters

2014-01-03

post/72133955213

photo 23:03:00
USA Composite Reveals Massive Winter Storm - January 02, 2014 by NASA Goddard Photo and Video on Flickr:

On January 2, 2014, NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over the United States mutiple times showing winter weather, allowing the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board to capture this true-color image of a massive winter storm moving up the eastern seaboard. According to the National Weather Service the winter storm that impacted the Midwest and Northeast over the past couple of days is moving into the Atlantic Friday. Very cold temperatures and dangerous wind chills are moving in behind the system. The next storm is forming, and will bring blizzard conditions to the northern Plains Friday Night into Saturday. Extreme wind chills to -55 F are possible in the northern Plains this weekend.

I’m a sucker for composites. Photograph: NASA/GSFC/Aqua/MODIS.

USA Composite Reveals Massive Winter Storm - January 02, 2014 by NASA Goddard Photo and Video on Flickr:

On January 2, 2014, NASA’s Aqua satellite passed over the United States mutiple times showing winter weather, allowing the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on board to capture this true-color image of a massive winter storm moving up the eastern seaboard.

According to the National Weather Service the winter storm that impacted the Midwest and Northeast over the past couple of days is moving into the Atlantic Friday. Very cold temperatures and dangerous wind chills are moving in behind the system. The next storm is forming, and will bring blizzard conditions to the northern Plains Friday Night into Saturday. Extreme wind chills to -55 F are possible in the northern Plains this weekend.

I’m a sucker for composites. Photograph: NASA/GSFC/Aqua/MODIS.

2013-12-13

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photo 00:17:03
San Francisco airport in the snow, 21 January 1962, from SFGate’s blog.

San Francisco airport in the snow, 21 January 1962, from SFGate’s blog.

2013-11-26

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photo 20:20:55
A simulated snow castle being destroyed by a cannonball, from Disney’s Siggraph presentation, Frozen - A Material Point Method For Snow Simulation (via).

A simulated snow castle being destroyed by a cannonball, from Disney’s Siggraph presentation, Frozen - A Material Point Method For Snow Simulation (via).

2013-01-21

London Snow via the medium of Flickr

text 00:01:00

I wondered this morning how common snow’s been recently in London. After all, this year’s looking like having a week or so of snow, and I remember my last winter there, 2010, being fairly white too.

I was also reminded of this by Boris Johnson’s recent (generally awful) Telegraph column, where he says

By my calculations, this is now the fifth year in a row that we have had an unusual amount of snow; and by unusual I mean snow of a kind that I don’t remember from my childhood: snow that comes one day, and then sticks around for a couple of days, followed by more.

OK then. I suppose I could double check by looking at the Met Office's UK climate summaries, but that would require some reading comprehension, and it’s a Sunday. Instead, I thought I’d do a tiny bit of data mining. (Actually this hardly qualifies, but what the hell, big data’s sexy, right?)

Flickr have an API, and one of the core methods is flickr.photos.search, and one of the parameters is the date taken. So it’s pretty trivial to write a small Python script that will do the search, return the total count for a search for, say, ‘snow london -ontario’, compare it with a baseline of ‘london -ontario’, and get this:

2001	34	20505	0.165813
2002	206	46747	0.440670
2003	419	90416	0.463414
2004	763	187478	0.406981
2005	1879	515875	0.364236
2006	2551	1130056	0.225741
2007	15227	1838767	0.828109
2008	12192	2027861	0.601225
2009	64871	2326955	2.787806
2010	34149	2305502	1.481196
2011	7429	2322795	0.319830
2012	14241	2449517	0.581380
2013	4872	63543	7.667249

Only three years reach over 1% of ‘snow’ photos, by this (admittedly handwaving) method: 2013, 2010, and 2009 (which was actually snowier, by this measure). By contrast, 2011 and 2012 look far less snowy.

(Of course, 2013 is pretty biased, because we haven’t had the non-snowy months that a full year has.)

Now I’ve produced this, I should actually go and do the hard work of comparing it to the aforementioned summaries to see if it’s actually worthwhile or not.

Edit: hugovk suggested looking for winters rather than years, so I changed the start/end of the timekeeping period to be in September of the year shown. Now the results look like:

2001	119	35647	0.333829
2002	443	73337	0.604061
2003	594	153578	0.386774
2004	1587	377460	0.420442
2005	2027	898777	0.225529
2006	15329	1671273	0.917205
2007	10903	1989473	0.548035
2008	60843	2250467	2.703572
2009	20579	2295751	0.896395
2010	25089	2316599	1.083010
2011	14916	2502527	0.596038
2012	6921	764047	0.905834

This looks better for the year starting in September 2012, and also makes 2006/2007 and 2009/2010 come up towards that 1% limit. Better.

2012-04-21

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photo 11:01:27
scanzen (via):

Air to air view from a tanker of a 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing’s SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft on a mission out of its home base, Beale Air Force Base, California. Exact location, date unknown. Photographer: TSGT Michael Haggerty.

scanzen (via):

Air to air view from a tanker of a 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing’s SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft on a mission out of its home base, Beale Air Force Base, California. Exact location, date unknown. Photographer: TSGT Michael Haggerty.

2012-03-29

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photos 02:28:00

Four more photographs from Mark Power’s series on the Airbus A-380.

2012-03-11

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photo 02:05:06
From the series Zones by Stephan Zirwes (Flash, sound) (via)

From the series Zones by Stephan Zirwes (Flash, sound) (via)

2012-01-30

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photos 16:32:00

Photographs from the series Homage to Wilson A. Bentley by Yuji Obata.

I’ve been to New York City four times in the last year, most recently last weekend. Having finally ticked off most of the major exhibition spaces, this time I visited some of the smaller Chelsea galleries, and this was the best discovery.

As Liz Danzico quoted earlier today,

Wilson Alwyn Bentley, a farmer who would live all his life in the small town of Jericho in Vermont, gave the world its first ever photograph of a snowflake. 

Obata takes that as a starting point, but goes further. As the Danziger gallery’s biographical notes say,

Like Bentley, Obata was obsessed with the challenge of doing something no one had done before – in his case photographing snowflakes in freefall rather than on a flat surface without digital or any other manipulation. It took Obata five years to achieve but his breakthrough resulted in the capture of pictures that allow the snowflakes to relate to each other in space and size, creating dynamic compositions and scenes. Obata chose the location to shoot the series, in the mountains of Hokkaidō, based on its history as the place where Dr. Ukichiro Nakaya did research that led to his invention of artificial snow.

The reproductions here (taken from James Danziger’s blog) give you an idea of the beauty of the photographs, but if you’re in New York between now and the 25th of February, it’s well worth visiting the gallery to see the works in person.

(Also nearby: Weegee’s Naked City and Vivian Maier next door at the Steven Kasher Gallery; Damien Hirst’s Complete Spot Paintings at the Gagosian; and, at the Mary Boone gallery until the 4th of February, Ai Weiwei’s Sunflower Seeds. All are worth at least popping in to if you’re in the area.)

2011-02-23

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photo 22:14:00
Another image from the SF Gate snow photos gallery, this time of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin headlands, on 5 February 1976. Photograph: Art Frisch / The Chronicle.

Another image from the SF Gate snow photos gallery, this time of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin headlands, on 5 February 1976. Photograph: Art Frisch / The Chronicle.

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