Monday, March 15, 2021

Mapping the Texas Tornadoes

A number of tornadoes were reported in the Texas panhandle on Saturday. It appears that multiple tornadoes were caused by a single supercell. You can view radar imagery of this supercell on a new interactive map. QuadWeather has overlain 3D radar isosurfaces on top of a Mapbox powered map, so that you can explore the Texas supercell in 3D. 

QuadWeather Radar shows the massive, tornado-producing supercell developing south of Amarillo on Saturday. The grey 'Bearing' and 'Pitch' areas beneath the map act like track-pads which you can use to rotate around the radar supercell shown on the map. Tornadoes can emerge from both supercell and non-supercell storms. Tornadoes from supercell storms are more common than those from non-supercells. Tornadoes develop in a supercell storm by rotating updrafts, These updrafts can be caused by winds at different levels blowing at different speeds or in different directions.

QuadWeather's 3D weather radar map was created using three.js and Mapbox GL. I have seen a lot of weather radar maps before but this is the first time I've seen radar isosurfaces in 3D. The result is very impressive and really shows the intensity of the supercell which caused the tornadoes in Texas on Saturday.

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