New Gustav layer in Google Earth

Google has just added a new sub-layer to the “weather” layer titled “Gustav Data”.  This layer includes a variety of information about the storm, such as the latest advisories, webcams from around Louisiana and a forecast track.  Coupled with the existing weather layers (clouds, radar, etc), it makes for some useful information.

As Google points out, the “clouds” layer is about 1-3 hours behind, but the “radar” layer is only about 15-30 minutes behind.

In the screenshot above, I’ve turned on the impressive-looking radar layer and pulled up a traffic camera (those are some empty roads…).  In addition, you can see the forecast track of the storm with the red line heading off to the northwest.

It seems to me that a general “hurricanes” layer might have been better (will we get one for “Hanna”, then one for “Ike”, etc?), but they can always just add/remove them as necessary, I suppose.

Google Earth updates radar data

A few months back, Google added near-real time weather data, which included radars.  Today, they’ve added coverage for a few more areas:

  • Europe
  • Canada
  • Alaska
  • Hawaii
  • Puerto Rico

I really like the radars in Google Earth.  Not only are they useful, but they’re pretty cool.  They float a few miles above the  surface of the earth, just the way actual clouds do.

Here are some pictures of the current radar in Alaska to show you what I mean:

Alaska Radar: Top ViewAlaska Radar: Side ViewAlaska Radar: Bottom View

To use the radars, simple enable the “Radar” option in the “Weather” layer, as shown below:

Google Earth Radar Layer

Finally – a real sky when you’re in Google Earth

For a while now, people have been trying to come up with a good way to be able to see the sky in Google Earth — not the night sky, but the clouds. Over the Google Earth Blog, some interesting workarounds have been used, but they weren’t ideal.

However, with the new weather layer, it’s automatic! Just turn on the “clouds” layer, fly down low, and you’ve got a great looking horizon!

Here is a view from downtown Detroit, with and without the clouds turned on:

Detroit in Google Earth - no clouds Detroit in Google Earth - with clouds

It’s not perfect, but it’s certainly an improvement.

All of this weather stuff is great, but it’ll really make the weather overlays on Google Earth Hacks much less useful. :)

New weather layer in Google Earth

Google Earth Weather LayerIt’s about time!  Google has finally added a weather layer to Google Earth.  The layer consists of three sub-layers:

  • Clouds
  • Radar
  • Conditions and Forecasts

Complete details can be found in a nice write-up in the Google Earth Blog.

Great collection of storm tracking and weather tools for Google Earth

Frank Taylor at the Google Earth Blog has posted a great round-up of the best weather-related tools for Google Earth.

The best piece of this post is the huge weather and storm tracking tools collection network link.  It contains a handful of folders with various kinds of data, which includes:

  • two global hurricane tracking tools
  • global cloud maps
  • current global lightning strikes animation
  • severe weather warning data and radar data for the US
  • a large collection of weather image overlays from TropicalAtlantic
  • weather observations for the US from WeatherBonk
  • a real-time day/night viewing tool
  • the global annual lightning flash rate map from NASA

If you enjoy following the weather, this is well worth checking out.

Cool new real-time lightning animation for GE

GuiWeather has just released a network link that shows current lightning strikes (well, within a few minutes old) around the world, in the form a slick 30 minute time-animated network link.

Google Earth Blog has the details.