Friday, October 31, 2008

Sunbreaks quantified

While I fully believe that we make our own futures by visualizing results, I also understand there are underlying natural laws that cannot be overcome by positive thinking. So where visualization fails, I call forth data visualization. Being an amateur follower of Tufte, I fear the chartjunk prevalent in most weather sites. That cute little icon of the sun peaking out behind the cloud does me no good when deciding between dog-park-then-breakfast and breakfast-then-dog-park.

As always, Q to the rescue. It turns out part of my tax dollars goes to pay for a basement of meteorologist nerds. And, they turn out hour-by-hour predictions of exactly what I can expect. The chart to the right is from that basement Uncle Sam likes to call NOAA. The chart above is a snap from NOAA where you'll see the forecast for my backyard and surrounding dog parks.

I love data. There is no shortage of sites in the blogosphere capturing the latest nifty charts and tables. I won't bore you with links or reviews. I'm just glad that NOAA exists. Now, get back to work.

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