Category Archives: Weird Weather

On Scale of 0 to 500, Beijing’s Air Quality Tops ‘Crazy Bad’ at 755

From The New York Times:

“BEIJING — One Friday more than two years ago, an air-quality monitoring device atop the United States Embassy in Beijing recorded data so horrifying that someone in the embassy called the level of pollution “Crazy Bad” in an infamous Twitter post. That day the Air Quality Index, which uses standards set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, had crept above 500, which was supposed to be the top of the scale.

So what phrase is appropriate to describe Saturday’s jaw-dropping reading of 755 at 8 p.m., when all of Beijing looked like an airport smokers’ lounge? Though an embassy spokesman said he did not immediately have comparative data, Beijing residents who follow the Twitter feed said the Saturday numbers appeared to be the highest recorded since the embassy began its monitoring system in 2008.”

NASA GOES captures Hurricane Sandy

Amazing images of Hurricane Sandy courtesy of NASA GOES satellites:

Video from NASA GOES online here.

You can also buy a print of a NASA GOES image from 20×200 with net revenue to benefit the American Red Cross – just one of many ways to help out the recovery efforts, of course.

Images of September 8th NYC tornadoes

From The New York Times:

Radar images / commentary from the US National Weather Service here.

Hurricane Isaac

From Rebecca J. Rosen for The Atlantic:

This comes from, a collaboration of data-visualization stars Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg. Their wind map provides a nearly real-time glimpse of the wind flow around the United States, based on hourly data drawn from the National Digital Forecast Database. “So,” they write, “what you’re seeing is a living portrait.” (It looks even better on their site, so definitely click through to see it in its full glory.)

The map is always beautiful, even without a hurricane’s massive force. Today, though, it can give you a sense of just how far-reaching are Isaac’s effects, just how much of the country can feel the winds, literally, of a storm in the gulf.

For contrast, on the Wind Map’s gallery page you can see some different wind patterns from earlier this year

Hurricane Irene from space, etc.

As Hurricane Irene (the size of California) moves up the east coast, and NYC prepares with its first-ever system wide MTA shutdown at noon today, SP Weather Station is removing its instruments temporarily from the rooftop of Flux Factory. Batten down the hatches, East Coast.

NYC evacuation zones:

Cosmic Rays May Forecast Weather!

Thanks to
and the March 1931 issue of Popular Science…

SP Weather Station in Queens International 4

Please join us!

SP Weather Station in:
QUEENS INTERNATIONAL 4: A Biennial Survey of Artists Living or Working in Queens January 24 – April 26, 2009

Opening reception: Saturday, January 24, 6pm-12am featuring live performances & screenings

Queens Museum of Art
Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens

Featuring contributions from:

Andrea Polli and Chuck Varga of Hello Weather!
( Guest Weather Station on the QMA Rooftop

Daniel Larson: Weather Metabulator

Leah Beeferman, Natalie Campbell, Susan Goethel Campbell, Carrie Dashow, Mike Estabrook, Neil Freeman, Richard Garrison, Michael Geminder, Vandana Jain, Katarina Jerinic, Daniel Larson, Bridget Lewis, Lize Mogel, Heidi Neilson, Chris Petrone, Sarah Nicole Phillips, Jing Yu, Liz Zanis: SP Weather Reports, January 2008 – February 2009

As well as Guest Lecture Posters, a Cloud Identification Area, and MORE!

Upcoming SP Weather Station Guest Lectures at QI4:

Saturday, February 7, 2pm: Nathalie Miebach
Boston-based sculptor who translates weather data into woven sculptures, speaking about her evolving project “Weather Suits for Cities” and related work

Sunday, March 1, Time TBD:
In conjunction with MetLife First Sundays for Families at the QMA, SPWS presents 3 talks in the Queens Museum’s Panorama of the City of New York:
Isaac Gertman video presentation: Weather Apocalypse NYC
Kenneth Goldsmith reads from his book, “The Weather”
SP Weather Station slideshow on Clouds of New York

Saturday, April 4, 2pm: Jane Marsching
Digital media artist speaking about her current project, “Arctic Listening Post,” and related work

Milky-white rain in New Mexico

On January 7, 2008 in southwestern New Mexico, the rainstorm was weirdly white.

“I don’t know what it was, but it left a milky, white residue on all the vehicles in town,” said Lt. Eddie Ortiz, 48, of the Grant County Sheriff’s Department, talking about the unusual Jan. 7 rainstorm.

“It was like someone spilled milk on your windshield and it dried up,” Ortiz said. [link]

The State of New Mexico Environment Department later found no health threat, and theorized that strong winds may have suspended sediment from upwind playa basins and mixed it with the precipitation.

Tornado: Brooklyn, Staten I.

This old news: First week in August, 2007. NEW YORK (CBS) ― What was thought to be a violently windy thunderstorm that plowed through Brooklyn Wednesday morning turned out to be a weather event of historical proportions. Full article
and also here

Snow in Baghdad

Friday January 11, 2008.

BBC: Snow has fallen in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, for the first time in living memory – though it mostly melted into puddles on touching the ground. People came out on to the streets to watch and some Iraqis said it was the first time they had seen such weather other than in films.